Not surprised or stunned by the lack of intellectual or creative thought in the UFO community but greatly disappointed, I wondered why some notable and no-so-notable UFO mavens behaved and/or thought the way they have and do.
In our small circle of regulars we have the brilliant Kandinsky and the creative genius Jose Caravaca mingling with the significantly well-read and erudite Bruce Duensing.
But that’s about it when it comes to deep thought.
Outside our immediate circle we find Patrick Huyghe, Tim Printy, and Cathy Reason, who is a UFO Update habitué, unfamiliar to me, except for what I read by her at UpDates; each of these persons evoking signs of deep cogitation and eminent reasoning.
In the noted category, but not representing anything close to intellectual brilliance is Jerome (Jerry) Clark, Kevin Randle, and Stanton Friedman, among a few others you can name.
Now I ask, what make Stanton Friedman think as he does – gullible at times (the MJ-12 papers) and a believer in a vast armada of extraterrestrials visiting Earth (and crashing near Roswell)?
And what gives Jerry Clark the patina of an elderly curmudgeon who has a vast knowledge of UFO sightings but hasn’t provided an hypothesis or theory about what they are; that is, he hasn’t conjured up any scenario to explain sightings as he mounts them in a raft of books, only as a chronicler (not a historian surely, like Toynbee or Tuchman).
Why was Philip Klass so viciously anti-UFO?
What allows Bruce Maccabee or Don Ledger to think they have cachet about UFOs; neither has made a mark that counts.
Richard Hall was brilliant but marked by an image of grump. Why?
Let me provide and over-arching opinion about why or how Ufologists think the way they do or did…
Stanton Friedman appears to be a happily married man who loves his wife and family, which creates for him a mind-set that is comfortable and cushy. This makes for an optimistic view of life. Even as Mr. Friedman stokes the UFO filed with complaints of a Cosmic Watergate, the epithet itself tells us that he is locked into the halcyon days of UFOs (1970s) and political life when dramatic incidents were benign actually, only serious to those personally involved.
The UFO topic was moribund in the 1970s or, at least, not riled by major UFO events. (No, The Travis Walton or Pascagoula episodes didn’t ring the public bell as did the Arnold 1947 sighting or the concoctions of Adamski in the 50s and the Betty/Barney Hill story of the 1960s.)
The 1970s were a blissful time as far as UFOs go and Mr. Friedman was at the beginning of his fame as a “ufologist” – capitalizing on that “fame” with his Roswell splurge.
This modicum of fame, coming from a quiet decade, created the mind-set that engulfs Mr. Friedman today. His mental configurations were established by the pleasant vicissitudes of an era where he, free of a real job, was able to grow and sustain himself as a ufologist, thus formulating his movement along the UFO spectrum in the 80s, 90s, right up to now (2012).
His mind-set has been concretized by this euphoric, personal time-line.
Jerry Clark, who wrote callow pieces about UFOs early on for Fate magazine and others, thought he had cemented a worthwhile legacy. But in the 21st Century he realized that he has no real legacy and this has made him bitter and condescending toward others. (His divorce, it seems, embittered him further.)
Clark is a non-entity among today’s younger UFO set. He is a no-show, without cachet about anything, although he’s tried his hand at a plethora of non-UFO activities and interests – to no avail, which exacerbates his bitterness and spiteful remonstrances at UFO UpDates where he is still seen by that site’s aging moderator as a UFO notable.
Richard Hall is all but unknown by today’s UFO aficionados. He was grump for not being able to capitalize on his UFO acumen, retiring near poverty and dying alone and destitute. But his legacy is cemented by his two-volume The UFO Evidence, which contains his pithy approach to UFO sightings with merit.
Philip Klass, long dead but still influencing today’s UFO skeptics, developed a mind-set aggravated by his need to be an expert about aircraft, which was usurped by things purported to be flying all over the Earth’s skies and followed by energetic believers in the idea that the things were highly advanced aircraft from outside the Earth.
Klass couldn’t abide the thought that aircraft, outside his desired expertise, was being exploited by men he saw as inferior to himself, in the intellectual area, especially about flying machines.
Klass took the rode that persons often take when their career toes are stepped upon – the rode of attack, take no hostages, and to hell with truth or civility.
Personages Randle, Maccabee, Ledger – Ledger the lesser known among any of the so-called ufologists – are settling into old-age, without garnering any public adulation for their extended UFO “research” and losing recognition among youthful UFO hobbyists.
Looking back to noteworthy UFO sightings and events, we do not see any person who stands out as worthy of our admiration for intellectual thought or creative interpretation of UFO sightings and events.
The UFO matter is not a deep well. It remains a pond (or puddle even) that hasn’t been dredged nearly deep enough to see what is at the bottom.
The mind-sets of ufologists is just that “mind-sets” – not reservoirs of elaborate thought or cogitation; ruminations without depth or creative imagination.
This is why the UFO enigma continues to "enig"….