UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Oct > Oct 21

Re: Is Ufology 'Anti-Science'?

From: Gerald O'Connell <gac.nul>
Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2007 13:21:31 +0100
Archived: Sun, 21 Oct 2007 13:26:56 -0400
Subject: Re: Is Ufology 'Anti-Science'?

>From: Katharina Wilson <K_Wilson.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2007 17:23:38 -0500
>Subject: Re: Is Ufology 'Anti-Science'?

>>From: Eleanor White <eleanor.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2007 17:17:22 -0400
>>Subject: Re: Is Ufology 'Anti-Science'?

>>>From: Gerald O'Connell <gac.nul>
>>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>>Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2007 20:04:43 +0100
>>>Subject: Re: Is Ufology 'Anti-Science'?


>>>>It's really rather simple. How many legitimate sciences are
>>>>conducted 95% or better by part-time, weekend hobbyists and
>>>>enthusiasts who simply appoint themselves as 'experts', as
>>>>opposed to people professionally trained and educated?

>>>>There is not a single real physical or social science out there
>>>>which has no budget, and no cadre of professionals to carry out
>>>>the research and provide peer review.

>>>Absolutely spot on, Dick. Furthermore, it is really quite
>>>delusional to try to pretend otherwise.

>>>All of which raises the question as to why this state of affairs
>>>pertains. Obviously, any halfway sensible answer will call on a
>>>wide range of contributory factors, ranging from sociological,
>>>through institutional to scientific. The issue is a complex one,
>>>and will not be resolved by approaches that fail to acknowledge
>>>this fact.

>>I suggest the number one factor is that since Roswell or
>>thereabouts, there has been a very slick but powerful campaign
>>to make ufology look like a synonym for mental illness.

>Several of the posts relating to Eleanor's comments below were
>written as if she were coming across as being conspiratorial or
>worse. This is just not the case.

I must dispute this.

Eleanor refers to a 'well co-ordinated campaign of
discreditation by both the government and the media', while you
yourself reiterate and endorse this assertion.  How could such a
thing arise or exist without there being some form of secret
agreement in place that would amount to a conspiracy?

There is a more realistic explanation for what actually happens,
and one that does not require any form of conspiratorial
agreement to be in place and maintained over time between a vast
array of individuals and organisations,

I refer to the simple social dynamics of fear and embarrassment:

1. We have a set of elusive phenomena that are real, appear to
systematically evade explanation and analysis, and which imply
the existence of a fugitive agency at a stage of technical
evolution (and, more threateningly, intelligence) far in advance
of our own.

2. This, in turn, implies a dramatic factual shortfall in the
world-view offered to us by all the organs of human authority -
 political, religious, academic and military.

3. A standard human response in such circumstances is to go into
denial in order to cover embarrassment, and treat the problem
with humour in order to release the tension occasioned by fear.

4. As with so many standard human responses, the actions and
behaviour of both individuals and groups in these circumstances
tend be consonant, reinforcing and feeding off each other. It
may look orchestrated, but that is the way of things with social
animals: collective behaviour gives the appearance of there
being a 'group mind.'

5. This can easily be misinterpreted by the naive observer as
denoting the existence of some background 'agreement' or
conspiracy, while all that is really happening is that groups
and individuals are going with the social flow, driven by their
common emotional experience.

6. Hence my original reference to 'the simple social dynamics of
fear and embarrassment.'

Look again at the various examples given below, and think about
them again in the terms I have set out.

>Here's a few examples off the
>top of my head of why Eleanor is absolutely correct with her
>list. There are many more I could cite, but here are some quick

>>Some clues:

>>The mandatory reference to "little green men" in all
>>mainstream articles about UFOs (virtually all.)

>Anyone who has listened to the news over the past 40 years has
>heard this exact line with the "laugh" from news broadcasters. I
>heard it on my local news just a couple of months ago. Someone
>was reporting that someone saw a UFO and there went the news
>anchors, "Oh (snicker, snicker) do _you_ believe in 'little
>green men'? [snicker, laugh... cut to commercial...]

I haven't conducted a statistical analysis, but the 'little
green men' dismissal strikes me as something of a ufological
myth. What proportion of the worldwide media reporting of UFOs
actually uses that phrase? These days it seems to be most
prevalent in the paranoid whining of those who believe that
there is indeed a global conspiracy to suppress the truth. In a
separate but concurrent post on this issue I address the
fundamental untenability of that view.

>As recently as last night on the Keith Olberman Show, MSNBC:

>He ridiculed the subject of UFOs and repeatedly showed a group
>of people sitting in an audience laughing in a strained, over-
>rehearsed sort of way. He began making fun of Spielberg's movie
>ET and the entire time he was talking about the movie ET (a
>friendly alien) MSNBC was showing highly destructive scenes from
>the movie Independence Day. They then repeated the footage at
>the end of the piece while making fun of Guliani's statement
>that he would be able to protect us from an invasion by
>extraterrestrials (if he were to become President).

>This all centered around the fact that a little boy asked
>Guliani if he could protect us against an ET invasion. Can you
>imagine how the little boy feels about his question relating to
>whether or not his government can protect him (us) against an ET
>invasion? Not only is this young boy being made fun of, he, and
>other young people who were watching this pathetic display, will
>probably not want to ever ask anyone about this subject again.
>And, that's the point, isn't it? See how it works?

>Yes, the media has and continues to ridicule, laugh at and
>mislead the American public about UFOs.

>Have we forgotten this?

>"Through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to
>believe that unidentified flying objects are nonsense. To hide
>the facts, the Air Force has silenced its personnel."
>              -- Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, Former Director
>                 of the CIA, February 28, 1960.

>>The substantial avoidance of physcial trace cases in
>>media presentations on the subject

>One example that quickly comes to mind is when NOVA refused to
>show physical evidence that Budd Hopkins wanted to present
>during a program about abductions. The director at the time said
>to do so, "...would open a can of worms."

>>The consistent use of "skeptics" in media presentations
>>who have not researched UFOs and whose backgrounds
>>don't qualify them to offer an informed opinion

>Wasn't this the subject (and a long discussion on this List) of
>the Larry King interview with Stanton Friedman, and CNN's
>invited debunker, etc....?

>Here's a look at something from Ufology's own "backyard"
>regarding "expert" opinions about abductions and abductees.

>"...'Abduction Enigma' is a half-baked affair so far as its
>assessment of psychological issues. Books such as Randle's serve
>as distractions from the all-too-real effort of people like my
>clients who hold trauma and its transformation - in their very
>real physical bodies.
>                                           -- Janet Colli, Ph.D.

>Please read other people's opinions regarding this:


>>The mandatory use of "limbo lighting", weird music and
>>other ridicule gimmicks when UFO experiencers or
>>researchers appear in documentaries, while the skeptic
>>is usually presented in a credible setting.

>I've seen this just recently on the Mystery Channel,
>oh, I'm sorry, that would be the History Channel. The
>music was so utterly strange and loud that I could barely
>hear the narrator. They totally blurred the message
>because the topic was controversial.

>>The mandatory denial of the UFO researchers in
>>documentaries the chance to rebut the skeptics' claims
>>on camera.

>Again, I refer to the latest such event, the Larry King
>interview with Stan Friedman. Stan did a great job, but look at
>how he had to fight to get a word in edgewise and we're still
>talking about who's a credible observer? To some on this list,
>pilots are no longer credible observers? Give me a break.

>>The mandatory last word in documentaries and other
>>media presentations being given to the skeptic.

>Absolutely, with the exception of the "news anchors."
>Usually they are given the last laugh. One day they
>will realize, those who laugh last don't laugh the longest,
>they are just the last to "get it."

>>It amazes me that some seniour ufologists seem to discount
>>this very well coordinated campaign of discreditation by both
>>government and the media.  Those things above are not
>>coincidence, folks. --  Eleanor White

>Does anybody remember these guys?

>"The debunking aim would result in reduction of public interest
>in flying saucers, which today evokes a strong psychological
>reaction. This education could be accomplished by mass media
>such as television, motion picture, and popular articles...."

> From The (1953) Robertson Panel
>(IMHO, a CIA-sponsored debunking initiative.)

>The following are excerpts from a letter to Major Keyhoe's
>publishers from the Air Force. The letter is printed on the back
>cover of "Flying Saucers From Outer Space:"

>[Second paragraph]
>"We in the Air Force recognize Major Keyhoe as a responsible,
>accurate reporter. His long association and cooperation with the
>Air Force, in our study of unidentified flying objects,
>qualifies him as a leading civilian authority on this

>[Fourth Paragraph]
>"The Air Force, and its investigating agency, 'Project
>Bluebook,' are aware of Major Keyhoe's conclusion that the
>'Flying Saucers' are from another planet. The Air Force has
>never denied that this possibility exists....if the apparently
>controlled maneuvers reported by many competent observers are
>correct, then the only remaining explanation is the
>interplanetary answer." - The letter was signed 'Very Truly
>Yours, Albert M. Chop, Air Force Press Desk.' "

Presumably Al Chop was writing before the 'very well co-
ordinated campaign of discreditation' got under way.
Alternatively, it could be argued that he was an honest
individual who failed to see the potential embarrassment that
his words would create. If he had known that the USAF would
still be getting beaten with this stick in 2007, then I suspect
he would not have been suckered into giving a publisher a golden
endorsement for a new title.

On the embarrassment question: never underestimate the angst
felt by military chiefs over being forced into public admission
that, despite their billion dollar budgets and vast military
infrastructure, they are utterly impotent in the face of aerial
phenomena that outperform a mountain of fancy hardware and come
and go as they please.

>Yes, I too am amazed that some ufologists seem to discount this
>very well co-ordinated campaign of discreditation by both
>government and the media.

Gerald O'Connell

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp

Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com