Kimball has a response to Nick Redfern’s contention that:
I predict that ufology will never be anymore than a subject that attracts a few thousand people on a regular basis (and maybe less now).
Many ufologists confidently think that the world is waiting for them to finally deliver the ET goods and go down in history.
They’re not. Most people outside could not care less about the petty arguments in ufology (and don’t know about it anyway) and unless someone really makes a major breakthrough (along the lines of proving that Roswell was ET, for example), we will not be remembered by science, the media or the public.
I've been saying this for ever: the one, final Answer, The big Answer, about ufos will never come. Never. It just can't, (in my opinion, partly due to the Trickster like aspects of the phenomena.)
Redfern goes on to say that if that answer comes, if it’s shown that ET does exist, science and the general population will forget about UFO researchers, pundits, etc:
In other words, we’ll be viewed as a group of people who looked into some unusual areas in search of the truth about aliens, but never really found any hard evidence that proved ET was visiting.
Ironically, if ET really does land, I personally think that ufology will be swept away in an instant as the public demands answers from the media, who in turn demand answers [sic] from the government and the mainstream scientific community.
(I agree with this, and I think the same would be true in the case of Bigfoot, Nessie, etc. If a dead BF body were found, if it were announced by science BF does indeed, exist, the same attitude towards BF researchers would be present.)
So, in the meantime, everyone should focus on the intriguing mystery, and have some fun, because that's what mysteries should be - fun.
This means that there should be room for some of the more "out there" theories (FYI - as far as the mainstream is concerned, that includes the ETH), even to the point of speculation. Where would I draw the line? When people are clearly lying, or when the theories and speculation goes so far as to be preposterous, at which point let 'em have it.
Exactly. some sort of inner journey-process thing going on for some us. And, I agree, if they do land and it's somehow proven UFOs exist (more to the point, that ET exists) UFO researchers will be ignored. They might be trotted out now and then for some entertainment value, but no one's going to really take them seriously; they'll be co-opted and appropriated. Used by the media and institiutions such as science for their own purposes. (The same would happen in the case of Bigfoot or Nessie.)
The public would be interested, as Alfred Lehmberg wrote in his comment to this item on Paul’s blog, and in that sense, the "folk" will jump in, but, being just the folk, no one's going to care. The institutions of science, academia, etc. aren’t going to bother with what will still be considered the fringe element. Even as it’s discovered that ET exists, there will still be areas of ufology that will fascinate, while ignored by the mainstream.
Years ago a professor of folklore told me that if ET were to land tomorrow, “it wouldn’t matter.” I didn’t understand what she meant at the time; what do mean, “It wouldn’t matter??!!” Of course it’d matter! What she meant was, in the context of folklore, it wouldn’t matter. People would still have their stories, the “folk” would continue to be marginalized by the mainstream and the approved institutions, individuals would still have their experiences. Various rituals, beliefs, and processes would evolve surrounding the discovery of ET, and take on their own flavor due to cultures and religious/spiritual beliefs. Even though ET has now been proven as a reality, various and new “realities” would quickly spring up surrouding ET, and it would start all over.
This doesn’t mean, as Kimball writes, we still can’t “have fun,” and for some of us, it’s more than “fun” (though it certainly is that too) it’s very personal on many levels. But that depends on how each of us is wired; we’re all of different temperaments.
It doesn’t matter to me that it will be highly unlikely we’ll ever find “the answer” because that’s not the purpose of this journey. (And, as I said, by definition it can’t happen anyway due to the Trickster aspect.)
So where does all this leave the “nuts and bolts” researchers? Those who work so tirelessly and do their best (most of them) to produce documents, evidence, facts of a case, to show the world? Nothing short of a dead body (be it ET or Bigfoot) that’s been independently verified by a whole slew of scientists will prove anything to the world. And then what? We’ll go on as before, except those of us who, as I mentioned, do this for other reasons other than “proving” something to others. Those diligent researchers will be trotted out as well as entertainment value, footnotes to the big reveal of ET.
That’s okay though, as cynical as it sounds. There’s the outsider element when the truth is concerned in “fringe” topics, and UFOlogy is no different. These same kinds of responses to Ufologists and Ufology apply to the Kennedy assassination and 9/11. If it were somehow proven to the world that the so-called “conspiracy nuts” were right about those things, they’d be briefly mentioned before once again sent back to the fringe while the approved pundits of society argue over minutae on CNN.
That’s just the way things are. It’s okay. After all, I’m having fun.