From: Michel M. Deschamps <ufoman@ican. net> Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 00:07:09 -0400 Fwd Date: Mon, 23 Aug 1999 11:51:52 -0400 Subject: Re: UFO Ridicule >Date: Sat, 21 Aug 1999 20:37:33 +0100 >To: updates@globalserve. net >From: John Rimmer <jrimmer@magonia. demon. co. uk> >Subject: UFO Ridicule >If ebk and the List will indulge me, I'd like to come back to a >topic which was being discussed before those British subscribers >who use Demon Internet were temporarily evicted from the List by >their ISP, for reasons which are still not entirely clear. >Jerome Clark was insistent that psycho-socially oriented >ufologists and "pelicanists" (delightful phrase which we must >all use as much as possible) were inclined to adopt sceptical >positions because they feared ridicule from some ill-defined >establishment if people started to think that they might believe >in the objective existence of a hitherto unknown physical >phenomenon - possibly extraterrestrial - as a source of UFO >reports. >Now I can understand that some people, largely tenured >academicians, could feel that their UFO research might be seen, >by some people in authority over them, to reflect badly on their >academic position. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the case, >John Mack is an obvious example here. >I can also see that some UFO witnesses, with no other links into >the field, might be concerned what neighbours and employers >might think if their experiences became subject to general >gossip and sensational reporting. >What I cannot see is why experienced, long-time ufologists, >whose employment has no possible connection to ufology (to pick >an example at random, librarians employed by a local council), >who have no particular connection to the academic world, and who >couldn't give a bugger what their casual aquaintances might >think of their interest in UFOs (or indeed, whose casual >aquaintances are equally unlikely to be concerned) should be so >overcome by the fear of ridicule. >I would be interested to hear from any ufologists who *have* >been so overcome by the chill winds of ridicule that they have >moved to a public position of "ridicule avoidance" as described >by Jerome Clark. I fully understand that they might not wish to >discuss this on the List, but if they were to reply privately to >my e-mail address I will naturally keep their names >confidential. >The other possibility, of course, is that there is no such fear >of ridicule amongst ufologists generally, apart from in the >specific circumstance I mention above, that sceptical ufologists >have arrived at their sceptical positions through a study of the >evidence they have come across, and that Jerome Clark is talking >through his hat. Dear John, I'm one of those Ufologists who are in a unique position to talk about UFOs because I myself, have had 14 separate sightings since 1974. I'm 35 years old, have been MUFON's Provincial Section Director for Sudbury, Ontario, Canada since 1991, and my specialty is researching newspaper archives for UFO clippings. Since this has to do with history, I therefore consider myself a UFO historian, more specifically with the history of UFO sightings in Northern Ontario. I was only afraid of ridicule when it took me two days to report my second sighting to the local police in October 1990. They, of course, don't do anything about these reports but did keep me on the line long enough for them to determine whether or not I was a nutcase. Since then, I've never been afraid of the ridicule, although I tend to receive a lot of it from skeptical friends of mine and the media, namely the local press and television reporters. I believe it's time the tables were turned. UFO eyewitnesses should realize that there are a lot more believers/knowers out there than they might think. But they don't know that, and this makes it difficult for these people to come forward with confidence and speak out without being afraid of people calling them crazy or worse. Education is the key. Michel M. Deschamps MUFON Provincial Section Director for Sudbury, Ontario, Canada & UFO Researcher/Historian.
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