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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Apr > Apr 5

Re: Friedman vs. Krauss Debate

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
Date: Sun, 04 Apr 99 14:23:13 PDT
Fwd Date: Mon, 05 Apr 1999 09:14:47 -0400
Subject: Re: Friedman vs. Krauss Debate


>Date: Sat, 3 Apr 1999 22:22:07 -0500
>From: Peter Brookesmith Mendoza <DarkSecretPB@compuserve.com>
>Subject: Friedman vs. Krauss Debate
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>

>With the compliments, and feline smirk, of House Mendoza:

>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
>>Subject: Re: Friedman vs. Krauss Debate
>>Date: Fri, 02 Apr 99 21:39:15 PST


Peter, not to mention patient and gentle listfolk:

>This, and John Rimmer's post which it refers, are now
>archived in the 10 000 gigabyte Mendoza Cray Archives in a
>folder entitled 'Missing The Point' inside another folder
>entitles 'The Strange World of Jerome Clark, Wandering Boy
>Bishop'.

Hey, don't bishops, even wandering boy ones, get _paid_? Where's
my check?  Where is the adoring flock?  Where's my rent-free
office, or that car I get to wander in?

>My point: Introduction. Jerome ploughs on for several
>typically verbose [sic] paragraphs about the shortcomings he
>perceives in the psychosocial hypothesis (PSH). Jerome
>conveniently forgets how many times he has been reminded
>that this is not one, but several, loosely interrelated
>hypotheses, with a number of writers pushing their own
>corners of an envelope on whose presice [sic] contents they
>are not necessarily wholly agreed upon. No wonder he finds
>it curious that "Magonia" printed a largely friendly review
>of his Encyclopedia. He cannot tolerate ambiguity,
>apparently!

And Peter's sense of humor seems sadly lacking here. He
apparently thinks I am obliged to write a lengthy, detailed
paper for this list before I can say anything at all. Of course
even the short remarks I made get characterized as "verbose,"
thus making it clear that what Peter really wants is for me just
to shut up so that he doesn't have to hear a point of view that
evidently causes him much pain and distress.

In fact, if he could read better, he would have seen that my
posting was just a light-hearted response to a dumb,
self-serving statement John Rimmer, who is not ordinarily dumb
or self-serving, had made. I have written at length on the PSH
(of which John is a leading and articulate advocate), skeptics
and debunkers, and the hard evidence for UFO reality elsewhere,
in books and periodicals some of you, though apparently not
Peter, have read.  Those who want a full accounting, and a
serious, detailed examination of these issues, are referred to
these.

In any event, lighten up, guy, and stop with the crazy
accusations.  The one thing of which I am perhaps most tolerant
in the world is ambiguity, and that's why I am a lifelong
Fortean.  Ambiguity is a good thing to be tolerant of, my
friend. You ought to try it.  Beats name-calling, anyway.

>My point: Statement. Nowhere in John Rimmer's post do we
>find an attempt to promote the PSH. Nowhere, even, do we
>find it mentioned. What we find when we look, and read, and
>mark, and learn, is an asseveration of a truth universally
>acknowledged, that those fallen into a sympthay with the
>extra-terrestrial hypothesis (ETH) have been reluctant to
>produce - even recusant on the matter, as in the Boy
>Bishop's case - specific UFO cases that are especially
>suggestive of an ET "solution". Last time around Mark
>Cashman had the balls to offer a list. This time Bruce
>Maccabee unzips his list and stands up [sic] to be counted,
>and finds he has more than ten. Good. Now let ten or more
>brave souls do likewise, and perhaps, variegated as these
>individual lists may be, we may find ten that all include.
>Then we can set-to on them, at least.

>My point: Variation. All this waffle, which verges on the ad
>hominem, to which we know the Boy Bishop is ever too pure to
>descend, about librarians and English majors (I am pleased
>to be neither, so remain slightly baffled, if very bored
>indeed, with the tireless repetition of this old saw) does
>nothing to dispose of John's point that skeptics he has
>known (in the UK at least) have come to their current
>condition, perhaps best characterized by Raymond Cahndler's
>[sic] phrase "the dewy-eyed innocence of used-car salesmen",
>through hard work and wide experience. Helpful advice from
>the Boy Bishop for such good folk to "really get out more"
>is at best supercilious, at middle oblique, at worst plain
>stupid.

That was a _joke_ about getting out, guy.  Lemme repeat: a JOKE.
In point of fact, I know from personal experience (subject, of
course, to psychosocial exegesis and the usual blather about the
worthlessness of anecdotal testimony) that John Rimmer gets out
at least once in a while, because on one pleasant occasion I
spent an evening with him in a Chinese restaurant in London. I
could have sworn you were there, too, but maybe it was just your
representative, possibly explaining why earlier he had
introduced himself to Bill Ellis under the misapprehension that
he was renewing an acquaintanceship with Jerry Clark.  (As
possible further evidence that this was your representative, not
your own esteemed self, listfolk will be interested to learn
that Bill Ellis _has facial hair_. For the significance of this,
see below.)

>My point: Second statement. We may choose to divine from the
>fine spray of this Diocesean Discourse that St Jerome has a
>certain fondness for the following UFO cases:

>1. RB-47, as analysed by Brad Sparks
>2. McMinnville, as analysed by Brad Sparks & Bruce M'bee
>3. The Coyne helicopter case, as analysed by J. Zeider

That's Zeidman, guy.

>After that, generalities, and some of the usual heroes
>(saints) ofered [sic] devotions (a ritual recognizable by
>the prodigious amount of arm-waving indulged by the
>officiant). But here we have a start. We could probably add
>the Trans-en-Provence case, which we recall the Boy Wonder
>[sic] has defended in the past here & elsewhere. Well,
>that's half way. Perhaps another five could be squeezed or
>seduced out of the beardless lad, and we might be somewhere
>near some insight into the nature of the holy relics hidden
>in the mildewed crypts of Canby Cathedral!

Thank you for informing those listfolk who have never met or
seen me that I am without mustache or beard.  I'm sure this
answers a question that has festered in their minds for God
knows how long, even as they were too shy or frightened to ask
it.

>My point: Coda. It's observable - and, "of course, of some
>mild psychosocial interest in itself" - that the Blessed
>Jerome offers us not _cases_ that may perhaps support the
>ETH or even demolish the PSH, but interpretations of those
>cases as admirable. Thus yet another layer of thought is
>interposed between the original experience and its
>assessment. While the Boy Bishop becomes in my darker
>moments a prime candidate for the next Archbishop of
>Canterbury, so broad is his mind and his fudgery and his
>reluctance to express his own true ufological wisdom, it
>does also occur to me that PSHers the world over are
>justified in wondering when this scholar of canonical texts
>last considered the nature of actual experience, or even got
>outside his front door, rather than promoting what somebody
>said about what somebody said about what somebody said about
>what someone else may or may not have seen when the small
>rain down did rain on a rainy night in Georgia, or Wigan
>pier, or Jericho. This layering and re-interpretation alone
>justifies a psychosocial approach to what is loosely called
>"the UFO phenomenon". Meanwhile, the needling of actual
>individual cases in the pages of "Magonia" sails right past
>the point on top of the Boy Bishop's head, which so nicely
>matches the one on his slightly skew-wiff mitre.

My word.  And Peter whines about _my_ verbosity. As the late,
lamented Mary Margaret Fuller used to say when reading a
particularly vacuous manuscript, "There's not a fact in a
carload here."  The boy bishop, it appears, has had his case
rested for him.

So far Peter hasn't called Brad Sparks a boy bishop, though we
may presume that will happen shortly.  I refer list members whom
Peter's verbosity has not driven into a deep coma to Brad's
recent postings documenting the long, conveniently ignored
history of ufologists' list-making of what they regard as
particularly evidential cases.  Reading Brad's words constitutes
time much better spent than is wasted on anything that has
passed between Peter and me. I apologize to readers from whose
lives Peter and I have stolen precious, unrecoverable minutes.

Cheers,

Jerry Clark (or whatever name Peter is calling me
currently)


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