Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rants of the Day

Previous Rant of the Day: for new one check menu on right.

What's "Hurting" UFOlogy

Very little if anything is hurting "Ufology" including using the term "UFOlogy." UFOlogy is kind of full of itself as a term, but what do you suggest we replace it with? UFO Studies? UFO research? Okay, not too bad. But there are bigger and better things to concern ourselves with other than the use of "UFOlogy."

But this isn't about the use of clunky terms. Today's rant is about the idea that some theories, ideas, and people, are "hurting UFOlogy." As long as sincere, honest individuals -- whether or not we agree with them -- are following their paths, there is no fault to be found. We can learn from it all; old cases, current cases, contactees, abductees, mysticism, and all the rest. We're not robots, we're individuals, with a variety of abilities, talents, and experiences.

Those that spend the majority of their time attacking others, and constantly calling for some kind of purge of UFO land are doing nothing positive and nothing productive. They need to get over themselves and get to work, whether it's exploring the self and one's own experiences, solid field research, what have you. It's all good, it's all needed, and no one person can be all things to all of the thousands of facets found in UFOlogy.

"Accountability" to Whom?

That’s a word tossed around a lot in UFOlogy: accountability. The fringe dwellers -- debunkers, skeptoids, fence sitters and pretenders -- use the word a lot as well. We say that UFOlogy, whether we mean individual witnesses or a more gestalt kind of thing, needs to be accountable.

It sounds good; perfectly reasonable. Who doesn’t want accountability?

But what does this really mean, when we say we expect, in the context of UFOs, accountability? Accountitilbity to what, and to whom?

I’m accountable to myself, first. On a broad, human type level I’m accountable, in general slightly vague but nonetheless understood ways. Aside from that though, accountable to who, what, and, why?

I’m not accountable to, say, the Big Infrastructures of science, academia, government. (Hell no, not government, if anything, government is accountable to me!) Neither am I "accountable" in this sense to any self-described UFO Guild/Foundation/Union/Collective whatever.

I have my story, my experiences and I’m not lying. That’s about all I can say about things. Take it, leave it, disbelieve it, whatever. But other than a mutual agreement between us -- you believe that I’m being truthful, (and I am,) and I believe that you ‘re honestly interested and not out to lie, harass and persecute to prove your own agenda -- is all that’s required.

Naturally there’s accountability on a personal level, and that includes everything from one’s story to investigations; for example, diligent and honest work in following the data, etc.
That goes without saying, I would think.

I’m only accountable to myself, as I said, and those that want more need to be accountable themselves. What do you want from me, (or from anyone that has a UFO experience to share) why do you want it, what do you want to do with it? I’m happy to share my story, but at a certain point, being accused of lying, or “selling something,” or being crazy or a drug abuser gets tiresome. If that’s the response I’m going to get, I don’t care how loudly or rudely you inist I do this that and the other, I’m moving on. There’s no accountability there; the person making those accusations isn’t being at all accountable.

There’s the stale misconception that the one making the claim is responsible to prove their claim. We all know damn well that this doesn’t work in the context of UFOs. I can’t prove my experiences at all. Does this mean I’m to just shut up about them? Hell no. After all, if I were to just keep quiet about my life long UFO experiences, that would mean I’m not being accountable.

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1 comment:

Joseph Capp said...

Dear Ragan,
I agree with most of what you have said. But when people go on TV or public on UFOs they represent something, weather we like it or not.
Don Smchitt is great example of what can happen, although he wrote along with Carey what I think is, the definitive book on Rowsell, he's past lies overshoadowed that for many. This hurt the witnesses themselves in the publics eyes. So yes if we represent the witneses to these phenomonon you have a duty to be accountable. If you are selling something be honest. If you are presenting a witness try and not to go for sansationism, present the facts and let the witnesses speak for themselves. The more people we get to come forward the better. The more they are respected in the public eye the more balanced the playing field.
I wrote a article just now about "The Certainty Principle". I think this is what keeps the UFO community at each other all the time. No one is certain of what is happening and there is no communication when people are 'certain' no dicussion.

Joseph Capp
UFO Media Matters
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