Capp discusses the psychological effect on UFO witnesses, including witnesses with multiple sightings. He says, of disclosure:
I really have had strong problems with the idea that wide or complete public knowledge of ET presence would not be a profound shock to many, many people, that it must be assumed that the masses of regular people will simply go about their daily lives as though nothing happened.
On the contrary: I believe a kind of ET Shock would take hold. I suspect ET Shock would marginalize rational thinking in many people who need the safety blanket of Business As Usual in our busy, spin saturated world.
(I often say that, after a small period of adjustment, we’d all go back to normal, but I’ve been rethinking this recently. And here I find Capp’s comments on this topic; another bit of synchronicity. I think many subcultures and already marginalized groups wouldn’t be in shock -- they’ve been expecting it. But the infrastructures and mainstream, which after all are the ones that count as far as control goes, would be turned upside down. That’s why full disclosure won’t happen, and exopolitics, while well meaning, is a bit pointless. On the other hand, it’s presumptive of us to assume anything when it comes to this subject. But we can speculate, which is what we’re all trying to do; just deal with what we know so far and have experienced.)
Capp writes of his own UFO sighting, and the affect it’s had on him -- all these years later. As with my own “obsession” and so many others, those of us who’ve had sightings oftentimes spend years searching for clues and answers -- even knowing no one size fits all answer will ever come -- we still take part in the process of discovery. Why?
And this last paragraph was another bit of Synchronicty between my recent musings on the phenomena and Capp’s closing paragraph:
So in our own community we need to understand that UFO people are not “off” because they actually believe in UFOs; some of them have become “Off” by dealing personally with this profound, and often psychologically shattering experience as best as they knew how.
I’ve been thinking a lot the past few weeks about our isolation from each other, even within the field of UFOlogy and Fortean studies. Not only is our culture decompartmentalized, the subcultures of UFOlogy, etc. are as well. The often hostile divisions between nuts and bolts and more holistic theories, between paranormal Bigfoot and flesh and blood Bigfoot, and so on, further divide, and by doing so, reinforce the loneliness, uncertainties, and confusion within individuals. Throw in the skeptics -- who, like it or not are a part of this since they insist on being vocal on the fringes of the fringe -- and the experience is far from cohesive or supportive.
Our technological culture doesn’t allow for these kinds of experiences,including religious ones. We tolerate some mainstream religions and misuse the more fundamental varieties to strengthen the fascism and theocracy leanings of government,(the control aspect) but there is not a culture of acceptability when it comes to the spiritual, supernatural, paranormal esoteric world that has lived alongside us for millennia.
It’s not at all surprising UFO and other phenomena are kept at arm’s length by society. Unless the topic is to be dismantled (debunkers, pathological skeptics,) or exploited (entertainment, television programs on the topic) it’s still held out as highly questionable. You can voice your beliefs on Christianity at work, and come right out and say that “Halloween is a holy day and so shouldn’t be celebrated” and you’ll be treated with respect, no matter how grudgingly. Sure enough, no Halloween party will happen, and you’ll even have a few coworkers chide you if you use the word Halloween. (I know, I experience this every year.) Talk about your church and you’re tolerated, if not downright accepted as being “normal.” For the most part, say you're a religious person of an accepted religion, and you're "normal." The activist atheist excepted, those will be tolerated in society. Venture out just a bit though, and you're suspect; even Mormonism is off the edge. The message is: don't stray too far from the relgious paradigm. Mention UFOs or Bigfoot, and people literally snort in your face. This isn’t news to anyone of course.
The point is, in our society we’ve moved far away from the acknowledgment of “the other” to the point of outright denial it exists. And within the UFO arena, this same attitude exists among its own. It isn’t any wonder, as Joseph Capp points out, that those who experience these things often go through psychological trauma, and may appear to be lost, off, confused, shaken, or gullible. And at a certain point, those labels become just that; labels. If we aren’t willing to give some kind of support -- which doesn’t mean agreement or total acceptance -- I really think we should shut up. Those that come on heavy and thuggish aren’t contributing to the field in any way, despite whatever praise they receive. There’s no pride in coming off as a bully, or being snide. Rejecting various aspects of the phenomena as not worth the time for its perceived silly factor is not a sign of intellectual superiority; it’s a sign of intentional ignorance.
The obsessive path many a UFO experiencer or writer takes sometimes ends badly; even death. Suicides, mysterious deaths, mental illness, paranoia; UFO history has its share of people who've gone this way. Many of us accept this as a risk we take, and go on. It's a fact many were victims of government mind games; psy ops, mind control, intentional games played with the UFO witness or researcher to ensure his or her isolation, not only from society, but from their own sub-culture of UFOlogists. Their own families. And we're partly repsonbile, for allowing these divisions to exist, for allowing the petty grudge matches to go on, and all the rest of the ugly side of UFOlogy to continue.
Joseph Capp suggests there may be a Part II to the article; I hope so!