Monday, February 19, 2007

A “Keelian Attitude:” Nick Redfern on “The Crossover Problem”

A lot of good things in the current (February 2007) issue of UFO Magazine. Nick Redfern’s monthly column View From A Brit, discusses the uneasy and often opposed fields of UFOlogy and Cryptozoolgy. As he writes
“UFOlyg and cryptozoology make for strange bedfellows.”
The Crossover Problem, UFO Magazine, February 2007.)

Redfern addresses the issue of flesh and blood/nuts and bolts researchers vs. the “Keelian attitude” towards UFOs and Bigfoot, Nessie, etc. This is a topic very dear to my heart. and I’ve commented here and elsewhere (Trickster’s Realm, etc.) on the bigfoot-UFO relationship. I often ask myself why this split is so fierce; I can understand it a bit more from the flesh and blood Bigfoot side more than the UFO side of the Fortean fence, but it still doesn't seem sensible to me. As Nick points out, the investigation of one realm by a researcher of another would mean that
“both camps are in dire need of an overhaul, in terms of what is really going on.”

True. Also, and more alarming, in Redfern’s views is that by ignoring the weirder data, it will be lost. I absolutely agree as I’ve been saying since I’ve had this blog, the stories exist: deal with them!

Nick shares information about Rendlesham Forest, home of the 1980 Rendlesham UFO event. A really juicy bit of Forteana that I didn’t know about is revealed here about the area’s Fortean history, including crypto creatures, that predates the 1980 UFO event.

Nick writes that these “crossover” events (UFOs, Bigfoot, and other cryptids)
“are not going away any time soon!”
The Big Thicket terrain in Eastern Texas (Piney Woods area) has a delightfully rich history of Fortean and crypto stuff, and Redfern shares some of his investigation into this area in his column. H recommends a intriguing sounding book; In the Big Thicket, by Rob Riggs.

As Nick writes, these cases that include both UFOs and cryptos
“make many people within ufology and crypto zoology cringe.”
The majority of the time, this is sadly true. I agree completely with Redfern:
“Both camps need to realize that neither has the answer to their respective mysteries, and both should treat the crossover cases in the same fashion -- and as rigoursly -- as they would any other encounter. If we fail to look at all of the evidence - whether it sits well in our belief systems or not, it’s truly our loss.”

It was refreshing to read Redfern’s words on this topic. One thing both camps also should realize is that this “crossover” aspect doesn’t necessarily negate ET, or nuts and bolts UFOs, or flesh and blood Bigfoot. In this seemingly never-ending realm of Fortean weirdness doesn’t it seem quite sensible there’s room for all of it? That the possibly is pretty strong for layers upon layers, constantly shifting, sometimes mimicking, sometimes standing alone, sometime merging? Why do so many have a problem with this idea?

Threatened credibility is one reason, and understandable. Trying to prove to the world that Bigfoot exists is difficult enough without dragging in UFOs and dematerializing, telepathic Sasquatches. The same for UFOs. But, while I’m sympathetic to that reality, it’s time to move past that.It takes some courage, but losing data due to rejection of what makes one uncomfortable isn’t contributing to research, as Redfern points out.

I think there are ETs (very probably) as I’ve said many times. But for me, that’s certainly not the end of things. One may or may not have anything to do with the other. We'll see, maybe, if we’re lucky. Either way, as Redfern says, the reality of the stories exists, and we just can’t afford to ignore them.

You can read more about this, where the discussion and more info continues, on Nick Redfern's and Greg Bishop's blog UFO Mystic:

John A. Keel: The Complete Guide to Mysterious Beings (revised version of Strange Creatures from Time and Space),

Regan Lee:
Bigfoot and High Strangeness, Trickster’s Realm/Binnall of America , Novemeber 2006

Fairies, Bigfoot and Hauntings Trickster’s Realm/Binnall of America May 2006

Nick Redfern:
The Crossover Problem, UFO Magazine, February 2007
Lake Monsters, Giant Cats, Ghostly Devil Dogs, and Ape-Men Para View Pocket Books, March 2004.

Rob Riggs, in the Big Thicket: On the Trail of the Wild Man: Exploring Nature’s Mysterious Dimensions, Paraview Press 2001.

(image source:image source:


Rick Phillips said...

Here here; my feelings too. I also believe that the `whole' of fortean experiences certainly extends beyond the few `bricks and mortar' UFO craft seen.

To me, it's as if a certain portion of all folks are incapable of `seeing' the possibilities that cosmology theories suggest are possible. Perhaps those grand cosmology ideas are too much for a mind rooted in religion or other dogma.

Lisa A. Shiel said...

Ignoring evidence because it disturbs you, or questions your preconceived notions, does not make you more credible as a researcher -- it makes you less credible. I have interviewed witnesses who originally reported only a "normal" Bigfoot encounter but, as we talked, became comfortable enough to tell me about their truly bizarre experiences. If I ignored their experiences, those witnesses would never speak to me again. Fear of ridicule seems to drive many Bigfoot researchers, and it's a shame. Instead of sucking up to mainstream science, we should show the witnesses some respect by not tossing out their experiences simply because those events seem too strange. Only wWen we examine the full phenomena -- the full evidence -- can we ever hope to achieve some level of understanding.

Lisa A. Shiel