Saturday, March 22, 2008

Death(s) will clean the UFO palate

When ufology’s old-guard passes on – Dick Hall, Stan Friedman, Kevin Randall, John Schuessler, and even the 60ish Jerry Clark to name a few – taking hangers-on and sycophants with them (and you know who they are), the UFO palate will be cleansed.



That is, the mummified concepts of ufology will be washed away, and new paradigms will be allowed to flourish.

Standing in the wings already is a group of middle-agers who, while not particularly astute about the UFO history and inclined to be cavalier with their observations and characterizations of ufology and UFOs themselves, think they are the news faces of ufology, which is a mantle they hope to change.

Those people include Paul Kimball, Nick Redfern, Greg Bishop, and Mac Tonnies.



More importantly, there are much younger UFO aficionados who are investigating UFOs quietly and sincerely, without aligning themselves with those who use the UFO phenomenon for social-networking and “have-a-good-time” parties.

These include Alistair McCallum, Max Taylor, Brad Hirn, some RRRGroup fellows, and several others who may be found in our UFO links (on the right of your monitor screen here).



Once the old-guard is gone, and the mid-lifers dismissed because of their foolishness, the young crop of UFO mavens’ newer ideas will hold sway with the public and media, because this new generation isn’t conscripted by former old-think about UFOs, presenting instead original thought and pursuit of the UFO mystery as they discard the fossilized “revelations” that have gone nowhere as far as the phenomenon is concerned.

Of course, the old-guard will go down kicking, but only moderately so, as they are tired and enervated by disappointment and irrelevance as far as the general public is concerned.

And the mid-lifers will stomp and fume that they are the new carriers of the UFO light, but that will be seen for the silliness it openly flaunts.

Meanwhile, the new breed will prevail, and the UFO mystery shall be solved, by them, because this group is steeped in scientific methodologies and discipline, not pretense and bonhomie for the sake of ego rather than truth.


MSH said...

Well said. I'll be throwing in my 2 cents as well, soon. By May (perhaps earlier), I'm going to throw caution to the wind (rather: get off my butt) and enter the blogosphere in this area, among others. Your encouragement a while back helped. Thanks.

Mike Heiser

Loren Coleman said...

It seems incredible to really read these words: "...the young crop of UFO mavens’ newer ideas will hold sway with the public and media, because this new generation isn’t conscripted by former old-think about UFOs, presenting instead original thought and pursuit of the UFO mystery..."

Being a radical Fortean observer watching the coming and going of all matter of writers, researchers, and theorists in the last four decades, you have given me a good chuckle.

Every "new" generation sees themselves as having the "real" solutions or the next best outside-the-box suggestions. Of course, it will only be something you will reflect upon when the next generation after you, the new group of "Young Ones" start nibbling at your aging heels, says something similar to you.

It's always been that way, and it will continue so into the future.


RRRGroup said...

Of course, Loren, you are rather right.

And we shouldn't have made what seems to be a generality, but the "old guard" we cite are truly entrenched in their views, with only a pretense of openmindedness.

The new UFO breed don't toot their own horns, and they are not locked into anything about UFOs or the cryptological world you're an expert in.

But they too will age and be replaced by young tigers who may vilify them also, but perhaps not, since the young turks taking over now don't have egos that are crushed by criticism of their goofiest ideas.

More importantly, this new generation is serious about what they do, and using UFOs as an excuse to party, drink a lot, secure women, and form a tenuous camaraderie is not what they are about.

Expat 84 said...

The "UFO Palate" is already cleansed. Every researcher brings their own cleansed palate. And the Scientific Method is never outdated ... unless, that is, a researcher is only really seeking communal thrills mired in narcissism.

For my money, I'll choose to BUILD my research on the shoulders of the giants who have preceeded me.

The Cult of Communal Narcissism that's taken shape in the UFO field -- and is reflected in this blog -- really isn't fit to crack open a book by Jacques Vallée, and I can safely forecast that with the attitudes on display here, none of the warm droppings from these new UFOlogical rockstars will approach a hollow whisper of the contribution of Vallée.

Brown Wave said...

"this new generation is serious about what they do, and using UFOs as an excuse to party, drink a lot, secure women, and form a tenuous camaraderie is not what they are about." HA HA HA HA HA!

Greg Bishop said...

I hereby second Loren's comments.

I have never said that I was part of a new generation that was going to clean out the old ideas. I have in fact said that some of the older ufologists are the people whose shoulders we stand on. I don't really agree with them all the time, but so what?

I'm not waiting for them to die just because of a disagreement. Ideas find their own audience, and UFO fans are a pretty small audience.

In one interview, I actually said that I hoped younger people would come along with new ideas that would piss me off! Perhaps some of the guys you mentioned will do just that. Any links to their research and/ or writing that you could provide would be welcomed. They should start their own group or sites to get this new thinking out there, or write books or articles or something to stir up the pot with exciting ideas.

If we're lucky, they'll stay out of the ufological personality wars and let their insights speak.

UFOs and other anomalies are a fun distraction, and I get to meet some intelligent and fun people through this interest--people who I don't agree with all of the time.

Nick Redfern said...

I would agree with Greg on this. Yes, I'm quite vocal in my view that when the old-guard passes that, for ufology, this will be a good thing.

That's not a wish to see them all (or any of them indeed) die of course. But for the *subject* I think it can only be beneficial.

And that's because, as I see it at least, the old-guard requires a pretty rigid belief system that is largely stuck in the alien, intergalactic or, god forbid in some cases, interplanetary mindset of the 50s and 60s.

So, when the old guard is gone, so the rigid belief systems will be gone too.

But do I see myself as trying to take over their spot when they're gone, or being number-one (or part of a leading elite group) in ufology?

No, of course not!

I'll merely just continue to do what I do now: (A) post regular blog-posts that reflect my views and findings etc; (B) speak at a few conferences per year; (C) do the occasional TV show; and (D) *maybe* continue to write UFO books.

I definitely have one more UFO book in me, but after that I'm not sure. So, further books? Yes. But further UFO books after the next? Dunno.

Frankly, the main reason why I have no interest in being a part of some new movement or whatever, is because - in simple terms - I can't be bothered.

For me at least (everyone is different of course), spending a couple of hours a day monday to friday on blog posts, a few radio shows here and there, and a few gigs per year is enough, because I have a life away from ufology.

Indeed, unless it's something like a radio show, at 5PM every weekday night I leave the computer behind until the next morning.

It's the same reason I don't make blog posts on a weekend - I'm off doing other things and UFOs are way down the list on my priorities.

Re partying, drinking etc: yes, I like to drink and have a good time. Yes, I even like to have sex! But the idea that I might, as you say, "use the UFO phenomenon for social-networking and “have-a-good-time” parties" is wide of the mark. I presume this was focused in part on me as my name is listed above this statement.

I don't apologize for liking to have a good time - so what? But the idea that I/we "use the phenomenon" for this is an odd one.

Here's why: I only speak at about 3 or 4 UFO gigs per year; I've only met Mac Tonnies once in my life (in Oct. 2006); I haven't seen Greg since last July at Roswell; and the last time I saw Paul Kimball was at his New Frontiers Symposium in Canada in 2006 - around 18 months ago!

In other words, if I "use the phenomenon" as a means to a social end, then only 3 or 4 gigs per year, combined with how often I see the guys above, equates to a pretty piss-poor social life, I would think!

The fact is, as I said, I like to drink, I like to have a good time, I like to party. I don't apologize for it, and I've done it since I was 17, and I'll do it until I'm not able to.

But I don't need to use the UFO subject as a means to an end. I would be doing that if I was a bus-driver, lion-tamer, or farmer, or whatever.

But I don't see how enjoying having a good time affects a person's ability to do research etc.

Perhaps it's because I am from a vastly different culture to you.

Whereas in the US, a lot of socializing is done over large, cheese-laden fried meals that both block arteries and induce diabetes on a massive scale, in the UK our culture is that on weekends everyone, when they reach the age of about 17, goes down the pub and drinks.

Now, if people don't like that, that's fine with me. If they do like it, that's fine too. Much of it does depend on cultures and how accepting someone is or isn't of other, very different cultures.

But that's the culture I was born in, it's what I do, and again I don't apologize for it - anymore than I would expect someone in the US to apologize for "super-sizing" every day.

Ufologists will come and go. Most will begin at a young age, they will enter middle-age, then old age and they will die. That's how it has always been and how it will always be.

There will be those who are seen on TV and in the magazines more than others, but at the end of the day, they come and go, and that's precisely what will happen with me and everyone else: here today, gone later today.

But to try and hold sway over ufology, or become the next big ufological gang etc, is not what I'm about, even if people have that view.

Believing that the passing of the old guard - in terms of what it may specifically mean for the subject - is actually a good thing, doesn't mean I have even the slightest desire to be king of the hill.

For me, UFOs are an interest that I blog about, speak about and write articles and occasional books about. And that's all it will ever be - an interest: Not one to use as an excuse to party (I do that anyway regardless of UFOs), and not one to try and become a prime-mover in.

After all, if I wanted to be a prime-mover in ufology and hold sway, I think it's safe to say I would not have written "Body Snatchers," which hardly made me any friends in Ufology!

Those who want to be the top of the ufological chain are some of those I see at conferences - fawning over their peers, saying the right thing to the right person, and playing the game and saying what the audience wants to hear.

But as someone who does not believe aliens crashed at Roswell, that automatically negates me as a future leading light in the eyes of much of the ufological movement!

MSH said...

I have to say I agree with pretty much all these responses in one way or another. I also don't care to be in the ufology spotlight one way or another, but I'm tired of retail ufology. I think a new generation needs to be prompted to go back and read some of the serious attempts to address UFOs (e.g., Vallee, whom everyone references but few have read, at least among the "retailers"; just isn't popular). And I might add I see little of the scientific method in the field. It's more like applying tests to make sure my position is validated than anything else. Maybe I'm a bit jaded given my entrance into the field was the humanities (ancient civilizations, religion, folklore, languages, etc.) and my reference point is BS like Sitchin's material. Then there was Ryan Wood's hysterical email about my linguistic testing of the MJ docs last summer in Roswell, and Stan Friedman's completely uncritical alignment with Wood's nonsensical response. It was disappointing to see. I haven't responded to date, since it wasn't about getting attention in the first place. Just trying to advance the discussion and see who was willing to think and who wasn't.

And Nick - I think we all need to keep your piece of several months ago close to heart - that no one out there is really waiting with baited breath to see ufologists win the day. They're watching American Idol.

Anonymous said...

To the young some point in your lives you will realize that you will never "really" know what is going on with the UFO phenomenon and that you are going to go to your graves NOT knowing.

How you deal with that will be the measure of your generation.

~Foo Fighter~

Lance M. Foster said...

Mysteries are meant to be contemplated, not solved (apologies to Scooby Doo)