Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jerry Springers in UFO Land

Erik at his blog Contact had a great post the other day about UFO researchers leaving the field, ostensibly due to what they say is a disgust about the loony fringe. Erik has another great post now about "personality driven" UFO study: Personality Driven UFOlogy: the Id vs. The Phenomenon (which isn't any kind of study at all, but a bash fest, whether it's overt, or more sublte, like the "new thugs" I wrote about a few years ago.) He writes:
Since when did phenomena take a back seat to the individuals studying it?  What happened to the awe of the subject matter?  Has society become so petty and egocentric that it finds the figures investigating the unknowable more fascinating than the topic of investigation itself?  It would appear to be so.  And how sad it is that not only has Ufology's prominent figures become celebritized, they now seem to be so desperate for the status and attention their celebrity has brought them, they will attack  fellow researchers or investigators just to keep the lime light.  Where is the Ufology in this?  Apalling, sophomoric tactics and innocuous accusations are blinding them, if not everyone, to the actual study!  The actual phenomenon!  No wonder a lot of folks want nothing to do with this field of study.  It's not because it is not interesting or compelling but because its progenitors with all manor of antics have driven them away.  It's a dog eat dog mad house.
I think part of this infighting --  which isn't new really, research has always been this way in many ways --  is due to a trickster effect. It's part of the game; distractions from what's really going on. You can't have one without the other. But that aside, it's still sad, still stupid, and still annoying as hell. It's a given the trickster effect likes to cause mischief, but that doesn't mean it's to be encouraged or condoned.

I don't understand a lot of what goes on in this regard, but one thing I really don't understand is the name calling and attacks flung at individuals who are just trying to tell their story. The stories may be bizzare and hard to believe, at least literally, and the person may be confused, or misinterpreting events, or . . . but if we're in this field out of a geniune sense of getting at things, we wouldn't be so quick to dismiss those things that offend us, at first meeting, because of their surreal nature. Isn't that what  research is about? Instead of calling someone an idiot or moon bat because they insist they saw Bigfoot carrying an orb of light, heading towards a landed UFO, some authentic investigation into the event is what's needed. Not sarcastic jokey throw away antics like decreeing these individuals belong in some kind of moon bat file.


Erik said...

Thanks, Ms. Regan.

I do feel that you are correct in that the larger picture is Trickster or what I call Psychoterrestrial in nature. As mysterious and vague as all of this phenomena is, it is as such because I think we try to detach from it and look at it in a petri dish cold and separate, instead of take part ownership of it and look at it more intimately within the cosmological workings of human psychology. I think we co-create everything and as you have outlined, were are only looking at the projected symptoms of the actual problem or source. Ufology's current downward spiral is emblematic I believe, of this much larger problem.



Red Pill Junkie said...

Well, let's face it: this field by nature is appealing *only* to a certain kind of personality. The main characteristic of that personality is a strong sense of individualism. So try that a bunch of above-average intelligent folks with a strong sense of individualism —and a lot of emotional investment in their personal pet theories— to come up and agree on a certain consensus on something as bizarre as the UFO, and you'll quickly realize why Huxley's Brave New World could handle only a small amount of Alphas, while the rest of Betas & Gammas had to clean up after them.

Between the compelling drive of the field to turn into a surrogate religion, the absolute lack of certification or academic degrees, and the iconoclastic nature of most of its leaders, UFOlogy is a rather unstable emulsion.

And mayonnaise is not everybody's favorite condiment ;)