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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2001 > Nov > Nov 20

Re: Conventional Wisdom For Feebs, Dweebs, And

From: Jim Mortellaro <Jsmortell@aol.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 17:18:07 EST
Fwd Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 23:31:51 -0500
Subject: Re: Conventional Wisdom For Feebs, Dweebs, And

 >From: Alfred Lehmberg <Lehmberg@snowhill.com>
 >To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates@home.com>
 >Subject: Conventional Wisdom For Feebs, Dweebs, And NCC's
 >Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 05:39:16 -0600

 >Conventional Wisdom for Feebs, Dweebs, and NCC's

With Errol's permission:

Dear List, EBK,

 >There's a lot of myopic griping from the ufological luminary
 >about Ufology not deserving its identification as a breeding
 >ground for nitwits, crackpots, and cuckoos (NCCs). And there's
 >lately been considerable moaning about its infestation of same.
 >To this end, NCC's are arbitrarily identified by, largely, self
 >appointed and ax grinding gatekeepers in a badly approached
 >attempt to clean their ufological temple of that undisciplined
 >dross and intemperate corruption... yea and verily...

First off, a little levitation, levity, sorry ... regarding your
remark about nitwits, crackpots and cuckoos ... I occasoinally
resemble that remark, so watch it Bub!

As for the gatekeepers, they never get it right. Rather than
mitigate, they augment the search for absolute truth by adhering
only to their own opinion of that which is right. Which is often
wrong for the research.

Hynek, of whom you write below, is the prime example of a
scientific mind allowing for all the variables to percolate
without the negativity of the skeptic, the absolute truth of the
skeptibunker or the angst of the so-called true believer.

Truth be known, Hynek may be the best example of the UFO
researcher this subject has ever known. Way before his time, he
approached the subject with his science as the alley of the
research, rather than the enemy of the subject studied. Will
wonders never cease?

And still, J. Allan Hynek is not often quoted on this list.
Perhaps his association with Blue Ball (sorry, that's a town in
Pennsylvania), I meant Blue Book ... his association with that
project made him anathema. And he did coin the phrase, "Swamp
Gas." His dissociation with Blue Book was not a mistake, but is
often referred to as a negative in his career - and by
researchers of this subject.

So why is it I ask, that Hynek's book is not used as a model for
the research done today? At least in terms of attitude. And as
well, in the face of the present attitude of mainstream science,
should be required reading of any so-called scientist who
chuckles at the mere mention of UFO.

Hynek wrote:

"A critic of the UFO scene once remarked, ' ... unexplained
sightings do not constitute evidence in favor of flying saucers
any more than they constitute evidence in favor of flying pink

Writer's note: I am relatively certain he meant pink flamingoes!

Hynek went on to say that the "strangeness spectrum" of UFO
reports is narrow, so narrow that not only have flying pink
elephants not been reported, but a " ... definite pattern of
strange 'craft' has. If these objects are indeed not what they
appear to be, then it is strange that the imaginations of those
who report them should be so restricted.

I'll accept that. But even more important is his commentary on
this "strange spectrum" of reports. He says that they are so
narrow that they CAN be studied. He wrote, "Scientific study
presupposes data patterns and a measure of repeatability, and by
and large, UFO reports lend themselves to classification withint
their domains of strangesess."

And what of the scientists? Hynek placed them in two categories,
the first being those who treat the phenomenon with ridicule and
the second, those who come to believe that the phenomenon is
generated by individual or group mental activity. He states and
I quote:

"No scientist who examines the subject objectively can claim for
long that UFO's are solely the products of simple
misidentification of normal objects and events." The second
group constitutes those who have taken the time to study the

"Scientists who have taken the trouble and time to examine the
problem ... should be heard."

Hynek says that the views of the former group must be
discounted, as this group has not examined the data. He chides
scientists and therefore "science," for not advancing science.
Quoting Thomas Goudge, who was a noted Canadian philosopher as
defining how science advances.

" ... the necessary condition of scientific advancement is that
allowance must be made for (1) genuinely new empirical
observations and (2) new explanation schemes, including new
basic concepts and new laws."

In this arena of scientific non-study, science is by Goudge's
reasoning, not advancing. I might add that Hynek quotes Goudge
in his book, "The UFO Experience."

I again wonder how many of you on this list have read that book
and how many of you have comments about the content. It should,
as I wrote, be required reading for anyone interested in this

As an aside, I was surprised at how Hynek was so able to
communicate his ideas in writing. Clearly and concisely. And
whilst I am at it, may I, again with Errol's countenance,
commend Al Lehmberg for what I consider to be the best essay on
this subject I have ever read. I wish the hell I could write
that well. You are to be commended for that work, Al, and
commended as well, for bringing up the subject of Hynek, which
is blatantly missing on this and other lists.

 >But what about the provenance of that so-called dross? Where
 >does it come from? What compels the corruption and the

 >To be sure, this conjectured foolishness is the result of bald
 >ignorance. On that point this writer would agree with the most
 >strident skeptibunky. Where the SB and this writer diverge is
 >that the SB won't cop to the awful expansiveness of that
 >ignorance. He won't admit the contrived enormity of it... It is
 >an ignorance of wide horizons, encompassing many disciplines,
 >and it is corrosively pervasive in ways so smooth and reflexive
 >that its mechanisms are all but undetectable.

 >Sadly Snipped but for brevity.

I would hear the comments on this List, of others on the subject
of Hynek's book. I shall await withall. But don't take too long,
I have discovered a new brew of Mexican beer. It has within that
precious bottle of amber elixir, choate juice and some lime to
flavor it oh so gently. Vive Mexico. And I do _not_ "burp." I

Jim Mortellaro

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