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Re: We're Done Here, Now Go Away - Cox

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2013 13:58:04 -0500
Archived: Fri, 05 Jul 2013 07:23:51 -0400
Subject: Re: We're Done Here, Now Go Away - Cox

On Jul 4, 2013, at 1:15 PM, UFO UpDates - Toronto wrote:

>Source: Billy Cox's Blog de Void


>Wednesday, July 3, 2013

>We're Done Here, Now Go Away
>By Billy Cox, Herald-Tribune

>David Clarke, the tireless Sheffield Hallam University professor
>whose decade-long quest in getting his country's National
>Archives to release UFO files compiled by the British Ministry
>of Defence, reached the end of the road on June 23 with a final
>data-dump into the public domain. And he signed off on that last
>batch with I-told-you-so relish. There were no smoking guns amid
>the 52,000 pages released since the incremental undertaking
>began in 2009, and even veteran British researcher Jenny Randles
>lauded Clarke's persistence.

>"I may not agree with everything that he says on the subject -
>but I do with much of it and respect all of his views about the
>remainder," she wrote in an addendum to Clarke's parting shots.
>"I certainly know that he is nobody's puppet. And I, for one,
>say thank you for his efforts."

>Based solely on the evidence presented by UK authorities - and
>the MoD's ostensible exculpatory transparency - Clarke's
>obituary on that nation's ufology would appear well sourced. But
>by pulling in some American "Skeptical Inquirer" types to
>fortify his position, Clarke clearly overreaches in his alacrity
to settle the worldwide UFO problem once and for all.


David Clarke once wrote a flattering review of my UFO
Encyclopedia for the venerable British journal Folklore. I will
always be grateful to him for that. My own very limited
interaction with him has been cordial and productive.

That said, let me note the salient fact that the entire history
of the UFO controversy - beginning, probably, on June 25, 1947 -
has been a fight for the last word. Overwhelmingly, it's been
skeptics who were claiming such, and they were always wrong.
(CUFOS' Allan Hendry had a mordant phrase to denote the
practice: the Final Solution to the UFO Problem.) They are wrong
here. Not exactly a shock, I know.

In fact, we are very far from the last word on the UFO
phenomenon, and the decades-old controversy that surrounds it
will continue. Basically, claiming the last word is just an
excruciatingly lazy way of telling ufologists to shut up.

>"... My favourite quote of the whole two day media event," he
>wrote of the reception to the final MoD document delivery, "came
>from the New York Times as follows: 'Dr. Clarke, who has
>approached the UFO phenomenon from a sociological perspective,
>noted that many UFO sightings came from the Scottish city of
>Glasgow between 10 p.m. and midnight - around the time the pubs
>are closing.'"

>Wow. Drunk eyewitnesses again. Fascinating. Zzzz.

If Clarke is being quoted correctly and in context here, this is
indeed disappointing. In any event, as I've remarked in the past
on UpDates, I am inclined to suspect that it is English UFO
skepticism that owes its genesis to UK pub culture.

One prominent UFOphobic periodical used to boast how its editors
regularly meet (at, let us imagine, the Pelican Pub), partake of
abundant quantities of England's excellent liquid refreshments,
and giggle themselves insensible at countrymen and rude
colonials alike, heretics united in their perversely contrary
view that UFO reports may mean something interesting.

If we must link drinking habits to UFOs, one can as reasonably
argue that it is the skeptics who have suffered the unfortunate

Jerry Clark

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



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