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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > May > May 30

Re: National Or Cultural Impacts On UFO Research -

From: Amy Hebert <ahebert.nul>
Date: Sun, 29 May 2005 20:16:40 -0500
Fwd Date: Mon, 30 May 2005 07:22:48 -0400
Subject: Re: National Or Cultural Impacts On UFO Research -

>From: John Harney <magonia.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Sat, 28 May 2005 20:25:35 +0100
>Subject: Re: National Or Cultural Impacts On UFO Research

>>From: James Smith <zeus001002.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Fri, 27 May 2005 09:14:44 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
>>Subject: National Or Cultural Impacts On UFO Research


>>For instance, I have seen an undercurrent of defensiveness on
>>the part of our friends 'south of the border' (not just by
>>reading this List but examining documents from other sources).

>>It seems that _any_ critical assessment or opinion is taken as a
>>vendetta or personal attack. Surely, something is going on here.


>>Or is it just the idiosyncratic behavior of individuals?


>In short, if you want a to achieve a balanced picture of 'south
>of the border' ufology, you need to try to read Spanish, rather
>than relying on translations, as some of the best material never
>seems to get translated, presumably because it doesn't tell most
>ufologists what they want to hear.

Dear John, James, List:

From a psychosocial perspective, I too have noted similarities
and differences among various cultures with respect to UFOs, UFO
research, researchers and investigation. Although my point of
view comes from studying military R&D and the art of deception,
I have begun to wonder why certain cultures seem more vulnerable
or receptive to sensationalism and yellow journalism. I suspect
these tendencies are related to the basic characteristics of
each culture such as religious, political, economical and
educational standards. But we must also remember many UFO
sources tend to be biased. As Mr. Harney pointed out, the best
materials don't always make it to UFO Lists and related sources
because it doesn't say what most ufologists want to hear. Lists,
radio programs, web sites, magazines, newsletters,
organizations, etc. based on the _existence_ of UFOs may not be
the best sources of objective research because these sources
"want to believe" UFOs exist and filter incoming and outgoing
information accordingly. On the flip side, Lists devoted to the
more skeptical side of UFO research tend to filter out
information that does not support the Zeitgeist explanations
according to some unspoken criteria established by majority

Having personally witnessed and studied both the bizarre and the
mundane, I know how hard it is to understand these events.
Trying to make sense of the information available can be a life-
long endeavor. Not only do standards of research and
investigation vary from person to person, group to group, state
to state, country to country, so do the reporting standards of
local and international media. While sensationalism and yellow
journalism regularly make the news in many cities, states and
countries, exposed hoaxes, genuine research and the truth are
rarely covered. UFOs, like sex, sell while prosaic and mundane
do not.

So not only do we face lack of standardization in UFO research,
investigation and reporting, we also face language, cultural,
political and economic barriers. But the greatest obstacle,
IMHO, is due to bias based on personal and group belief systems
- the need to believe. People with a psychological need to
believe and prove UFOs exist perceive and filter all information
according to their belief systems (1). Whether it provides
excitement or relief from personal fear, belief in UFOs can
become intrinsic to one's concept of self and the
world/universe. Taken to extremes, some people base their entire
identities on the existence of UFOs and related phenomena. These
extreme cases become so enmeshed in their 'UFO identities' that
they stop looking for the truth because they subconsciously
believe they have already found it. When confronted with
alternative points of view, these enmeshed individuals
experience confusion and seek conflict resolution often through
intimidation and aggression or bullying. Because they feel
threatened, they attack those they perceive as the source of
their fears. Using every tactic from appeals for group defense
to pompous ultimatums, these individuals attempt to remove what
they perceive as their source of conflict never realizing the
real conflict lies within their own ego needs; the need for
love, affiliation and, above all, attention.

Perhaps it is more of a "mixed bag" or "all of the above".
Charlatans and scholars exist in all cultures. Truth and lies
are translated in all languages. Every culture exhibits media
and personal bias; some obvious, some subtle. Ultimately, it all
boils down to the individual and how willing each person is to
become an informed consumer of information. Each citizen of
every country must ask themselves, in all honesty, do they want
to believe or do they want the truth.

(1) UFOs exist. It is the belief and promotion of UFOs as
other worldly and/or unexplainable that is being addressed.

A. Hebert

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