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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jul > Jul 22

Re: Why The Cover-Up?

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2007 11:50:23 -0500
Archived: Sun, 22 Jul 2007 14:18:02 -0400
Subject: Re: Why The Cover-Up?


>From: Steve Sawyer <stevesaw.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2007 11:47:06 -0700
>Subject: Re: Why The Cover-Up?


>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2007 09:00:46 -0500
>>Subject: Re: Why The Cover-Up?

>>>From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul>
>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2007 16:06:09 +0100
>>>Subject: Re: Why The Cover-Up?

>>>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>>Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2007 08:51:28 -0500
>>>>Subject: Re: Why The Cover-Up?

>I could say some things about CUFOS' various intellectual
>liabilities, such as their obvious, long-term bias against just
>about anything Vallee has had to say for nearly 20 or more
>years, as he challenges your and CUFOS bias in favor of the ETH,
>which is as questionable as a number of other theories and
>speculations in this variegated field, but I think I should
>leave my impressions of you and the CUFOS organization at that.

Okay, you've read the science fiction. Now, the real world:

CUFOS has no institutional or other "bias in favor of the ETH".
Or, for that matter, against it. That's not what the
organization is about; its official position eschews any
particular interpretation of the UFO phenomenon. I defy Sawyer
to produce an organizational statement in which CUFOS declares
its support for any particular hypothesis concerning the nature
of the phenomenon.

In actuality, in addition to its role in research and inquiry,
CUFOS exists to advocate the position that UFO reports deserve
scientific investigation and to urge scientists to involve
themselves in the study of UFO sightings. That's it. I've been
on the CUFOS board for almost three decades, and to this day I
don't know what some members think UFOs are. Apparently, Steve
Sawyer has CUFOS confused with NICAP, which did officially
support the ETH - right or wrong, a perfectly respectable
interpretation, of course - as a fundamental organizational
statement.

Likewise, CUFOS has no position on Jacques Vallee. Perhaps
Sawyer has us confused with somebody else. To the extent that I
can make sense of his assertions above, I have to think back
more than a decade and a half ago to a couple of sharply
critical IUR reviews I wrote (in 1990 and 1991) of two Vallee
books. But as regular readers understand, IUR - whose articles
and reviews do not reflect anything but the writer's personal
opinions unless clearly stated otherwise - has published many
critical reviews of UFO books, nearly all by non-Vallees, in its
long history.

My criticisms of the paranormal/conspiratorial speculations
Vallee was advocating, by the way, had little to do with the ETH
as such (about which I have complex feelings not reducible to
single sentence or slogan) and almost everything to do with
Vallee's reasoning and use of evidence. Like anybody else in
this field, Vallee, whom I like and respect despite our
disagreements, is not and ought not to be above criticism. He is
a colleague, not - as some of his apologists evidently judge - a
guru.

>I just think your comments about Ed being the ufological equal
>to Galilieo, etc., as both over the top, unnecessary, and a
>sadly unresponsive ad hominem form of argumentation and lack of
>insight.

The mind reels. Why am I being attacked on this score, when I
was simply responding to Dickenson's strange reference to
"inquisitors"? It was Gehrman and Dickenson who brought Galileo
into the discussion, by unmistakable implication if not by name.
Or are we to believe that by victims of "inquisitors" they meant
witches? I don't think so. It was Galileo who most famously
suffered at the hands of the Inquisition, as Gehrman and
Dickenson know perfectly well. The adjective 'disingenuous' is
only one that comes to mind.

So do numerous cliched expressions: having cake and eating it
too, standing the heat in the kitchen, and more. Please, guys:
enough of the wildly hyperbolic rhetoric. We're trying to be
serious here.


Jerry Clark



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