In that issue, Alfred Lehmberg wrote, for his An Alien View column: Ufological Obstacles, Culture: Risking Validity, Relevancy, and Credibility in the Postmodern Age. (I think it fits in well with the current issue's piece by Professor Jaynes, but more on that later.) I hope I can do Alfred's article justice but here goes.
Lehmberg asks what most all of us from the most mired in psychotic skepticism to the so-called "believer" asks, and that is: why hasn't UFO research progressed in 60 years? Despite all the efforts. Lehmberg asks:
"What keeps ufologogy in its giggle-factor limbo? What banishes UFOs to the realm of tabloid magazines and the reflex derision of, say, current uberklasskurtxian apologists James McGaha or Micheal Shermer when the actuality of UFOs seems otherwise so assured?"
Great question, one we're all asking. Lehmberg gives the what should be an obvious answer; it's the:
"...paid cadre of busy imps at the Committee for Sceptical inquiry (CSI)."
It is also, Lehmberg goes on to say, in so many words, the powers that be, the ones in control, the infrastructure, the system. This is so damn obvious and simple, and yet so many within the field chase their own tails looking for other causes. We haven't made friends with science yet, there are too many kooks or "New Age mush brains" as Richard Hall recently put it in his article on getting up a UFO Commission; it's all kinds of things except for the one simple fact: they don't want us to. (Lehmberg also addresses the "why they don't want us to" part.)
Lehmberg gives several excellent reasons why there is such a strong and successful legacy of cover ups and disinformation. Lehmberg doesn't stick to UFOs; he makes his case for the methodical control by the infrastructure by comparing other societal disconnects. Politics, culture, business, academia, and sex. The same mechanism in place that ensures control of our responses (and knowledge) to UFOs is the same used in the previously mentioned. Take sex, for example:
"Revealed is the shame of dishonesty concerning sex because it is teasingly pushed in our faces on the one hand, and then we're penalised, persecuted, diseased, and made lunatic for induldging in it on the other."
(We can have a crude show like Two and a Half Men in prime time, with an eleven year old as fodder for the adolescent and shallow sex jokes that occur every three seconds, but Janet Jackson shows a glimpse of boob, and the entire nation goes insane in fake moral outrage, demanding the involvement of government, fines, and punishments for all concerned.)
The UFO researcher has to constantly look at the cultures around her to understand UFOs. Lehmberg writes:
"The point? If culture lies and denies about the everyday, they'll work overtime to clutter up the inordinately strange. Especially if this highly strange complicates their program. Especially if the highly strange invalidates them in the commissions of their crime. Especially, good reader, if the highly strange interferes with their very convenient and coveted status quo. And please, please, please challenge me on who they are. Dwight Eisenhower knew who they are and could point them out to us today.
Again, this is so damn obvious, and yet so many who should know better dismiss this as conspiracy minded kook stuff, or insist it's something else. Anything but this. Well, it's exactly this. (I've been saying this forever as well, although in a different way; that a happy shiny moment with science, mainstream media, academia, and politics will never take place -- not fully, not completely, not ever -- because of the Trickster element, which ensures that such things will never reach the light of day. Moaning about how nothing's changed in sixty years is non productive, and the wrong complaint. And, I realize I'm starting to digress here; is it really true that we've not progressed in sixty years? We don't have the answers -- but is that the goal? We need to shift our focus. But as I say, I'm dissgressing. . .)
There's much more to the article, well worth reading.
Coincidentally, I was just over at UFO Magazine's site, and discovered a comment by a reader who had some positive things to say about this same article in Alfred Spikes Another One Over the Net!
Alfred Lehmberg, An Alien View in UFO Magazine: Ufological Obstacles, Culture: Risking Validity, Relevancy, and Credibility in the Postmodern Age, p14.