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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Apr > Apr 10

Re: Max Burns BUFORA Lecture

From: Andy Roberts <Brigantia@compuserve.com>
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 04:28:26 -0400
Fwd Date: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 11:32:18 -0400
Subject: Re: Max Burns BUFORA Lecture

>From: Stephen Gamble <el82@dial.pipex.com>
>To: <updates@globalserve.net>
>Subject: Max Burns Lecture
>Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 17:54:40 +0100

It's nice to see BUFORAs chairman actually responding to
something.

In this case it has taken almost 18 months of BUFORA stupidity
over the Max Burns case to jolt them into action. In that time
they have lost most of their best people because of it and are
due to lose more.

>Possibly as a result of some of Max's postings, people are under
>the impression that BUFORA is championing Max's cause.
>This is not true.

But it is true - simply on the grounds that they are giving a
platform to someone who is making statements about deaths which
never happened etc etc ad nauseum. A BUFORA Council member
recently told David Clarke they would willingly have mass
murderers on their lecture platform if they thought it explained
anything. Go figure!

>Max says that he has alternative explanations to Dave Clarke for
>what happened at Howden Moor. BUFORA is providing him with an
>opportunity to present his data.

But Max has been unable to answer _any_ questions put to him on
this list and elsehwere, about this 'alternative' evidence.

>However this is in addition, not in preference, to any
>presentation that Dave may or may not give.  Like any speaker,
>Max will be subject to questions from the audience and if his
>data is lacking, no doubt he will receive a hard time.

No speaker _ever_ receives a hard time at a BUFORA lecture,
unless you count polite applause as being intellectually
stretching.

>Any impression anybody has got from Max or anybodyelse that
>BUFORA 'supports' his work is wrong, see point 1 below.

See above.

>We hoped that Dave would come and put his side of the case in
>the near future then people will be able to make their own minds
>up. We have carried at least one article by Dave Clarke on this
>case in the BUFORA Bulletin.

BUFORA Council just have not taken notice of how this case has
progressed. Their sole intention is to provide entertainment at
any cost. the cost in this case being truth about the case and
their reputation. They should all read Dave Clarke's posts to
this list again - particularly his 'final statement' on the
matter. If a so-called professional organisation is prepared to
support this charade - even by allowing its sole protagonist a
platform - then ufology in the UK has redefined the term
'nadir'.

>The position is very clear on this :
>1. BUFORA does not express a corporate view on the nature of
>UFOs

A corporate stance expressing a critical distance from unproven
and unprovable allegations, libel and allegation of false
criminality would have kept it out of this and many previous
messes. With BUFORA cheap entertainment always wins out over
rationality and evidence.

>2. That unless otherwise stated, speakers express their own
>views and not the views of BUFORA or its officers. Indeed, given
>point 1, speakers can never express the corporate view of
>BUFORA.

Hence the loonies they attract. With no critical or contextual
backdrop BUFORA is the ufological equivalent of Speaker's Corner
at Hyde Park. Any pretence at being a 'scientific' or
'professional' organisation is subsumed by the cry of snake oil
barkers.

>3. That one of BUFORA's aims is "To encourage and promote
>unbiased scientific investigation and research into Unidentified
>Flying Object phenomena".  To that aim all sides of every
>argument need to be heard and subject to rigourous questioning.
>If there are defects in any of the methodology then these need
>to be highlighted.

Even when the speaker is making allegations of unproved deaths
at the hands of UFOs Steve?

Allegations which he cannot support?

Allegations which may lead the South Yorkshire coroner to take
legal action for witholding evidence about a death.

We're not just talking about run of the mill UFO stuff here
Steve, we're talking about very serious allegations.

If any listers have relatives in any of the armed forces I'm
sure you would be alarmed by stories of this type.

Unless - and this is the key point - they were backed up with
names and details.

And this is the nub of the matter.

Were Max able to supply BUFORA with the facts about this alleged
crash and alleged death - even in secret, before his lecture -
this would at least demonstrate some substance to his tale.

He cannot, for the simple reason that neither crash nor death
took place. BUFORA's critical powers, morals and ethics eem to
have deserted them entirely at the expense of some muddled idea
of 'free speech' and a desire to entertain.

>4. That BUFORA does not condone the use of its platform by any
>speaker to libel/defame anybody, nor is the BUFORA platform a
>place for the settling of old scores.

But that's what will happen.

BUFORA has always been a platform for the settling of old
scores.

The internal politics of just why certain members of Council are
determined to make fools of themselves over the Max Burns issue
are deep and stretch back over 15 years and numerous
resignations.

This is exactly why leading ufologists such as Jenny Randles and
Dave Clarke (among many others) have left BUFORA.

>5. BUFORA does not condone things like illegal entry to premises
>or release of witness information against the wishes of the
>witness.  Speakers can be challenged on these issues during
>question time.

Exactly.

Yet they are giving a platform to someone who has released
witness information expressly against his wishes.

But breaking their code of practice is ok because the speaker
might get challenged during question time.

Some sanction!

If a BUFORA member broke their code of practice, several tedious
meetings would be convened before the miscreant was hounded out
of the organisation.

Paradox is one word for this.

Hypocrisy is a better one.

The fact remains that only due to _massive_ pressure from
within and without the organisation have BUFORA even
deemed it necessary to make a statement at all.

Some listers may believe that politics and ufology don't mix.

Many believe that they are one and the same.

The politics of reality.

If we don't fight tooth and nail over this particular issue 'The
Sheffield Incident' is going to be elevated as a 'classic case'.

Which it is.

But not for the reasons that either Max or his sad BUFORA
apologists think.

Happy Trails

Andy


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