Friday, June 25, 2010

James Carion and CUT

Ex-director MUFON director James Carion announces a brand new UFO organization: CUT. CUT stands for Center for UFO Truth.

Here’s what I wrote on Facebook:
Oh dear. Not "affiliated in any way with UFology" yet "CUT" (there's an interesting Fortean twilight language kind of word to use)  studies "early days of UFOs ... answering the question long ignored by historians -- was the UFO subject purposely created by the United States. .. part of a cold war operation?" That's been asked before. But anyway, how is this NOT to do with UFology?! It'll be interesting for sure but how far is one willing to go in trusting government sources? Der.  And this gem: "CUT will work outside of the three ring circus that is Ufology and will not accept the contributions of anonymous individuals or alleged whistleblowers nor will it examine alleged leaked documents." So he's distancing himself yet once again from the unwashed masses and "...circus" of UFology, going so far as to call what he's doing - studying an aspect of UFOs --- not UFology.  Newsflash Mr. Carion, you ARE part of the "circus," -- we all are. How an ex-director of MUFON, who is currently involved in a new organization exploring an aspect of UFOs, say with a straight face he is not part of the "circus" is a deliciously ironic, er, circus like, stance to take.

I’ll add that the word UFO is in the name of the group! UFO is part of the acronym, yet, Carion insists, this new enterprise (heh, talk about twilight language) contains the word UFO in its very title. The title is also fun, in its ironic pot/kettle black way, for its word "truth." What a display of arrogance and self important stuff shirted puffery!

Carion never did like saucer heads. He reiterates his distaste for the distasteful and bothersome UFO witnesses and UFO explorers of various kinds:
CUT will work outside of the three ring circus that is Ufology and will not accept the contributions of anonymous individuals or alleged whistleblowers nor will it examine alleged leaked documents.
Yes, why bother with interviewing witnesses to see if they are credible or do the work involved to determine authenticity of documents? 

This is the problem with would be UFO Police; they set up their own little paradigm, decide to reject a good portion of what’s out there, and all the time, they’re congratulating each other on finally getting to the “truth.”

When you combine a systems like that with a dismissive attitude that reeks of classism and an obvious distaste for 90% of the thing you’re studying, you cannot possibly get to any “truth.” 

The Big Lie
Recently, the cyclic meme that “UFOlogy is dead” has been making the rounds, and I wonder: is this thing we loosely call UFOlogy really dead? Or is it just something people say out of frustration? I think the latter. UFOlogy is constantly shifting, and in fact, some big shakeups have been happening recently (David Jacobs, Cherry, and, um,  Carion. . . ) but that doesn't make it dead.

Do some think UFOlogy is “dead” because of the oft bemoaned statement that, “after such and such many years, we don’t have any answers?”

Carion remarks:
Ufology has nothing to show for more than 60 years of amateur investigation and research. By not establishing professional evidentiary standards, Ufology will neither join the halls of academic "ologies" nor will it discover the truth of what lies behind the subject of UFOs.
The us of the qualifier “amateur” is unfair. It’s snide. We’re all amateurs. Does he mean amateur in the popular sense: meaning, less than? Or in the true sense, meaning not paid for one’s work? Amateur has come to mean the former, more often than not, but being “amateur” does not always mean inferior. You cannot take away the study of UFOs from “the people” no matter how much you want to. And if you do, why do you want to? What's the intent?

We don’t have the Big Final Answer That Fits All to the UFO phenomenon. Carion’s mistake, as with many others: thinking there is one.

I don’t know what halls of “ologies” he means, probably the institutions of science, academia, and ironically, the very governmental agencies he plans on getting all this information from, but the reality is: CUT, too, is just another UFO group in the eyes of those “ologies.”

But back to the meme that “after sixty years we haven’t found the answer” -- I wonder if that’s true. No, we don’t have full disclosure, or the Beyond a Doubt UFO From Outer Space craft or an alien body. Well, not one revealed to the world on CNN anyway.

The UFO phenomenon has layers upon shadowy layers upon deeper darker layers. It’s a given UFOs and aliens are “real” and here,  We’ve moved way beyond that. We know they are; we don't’ know what they are.

Parsing the UFO experience down to a small segment --   U.S. government agencies intentionally creating false UFO scenarios to distract  -- is not a new idea, nor a surprise. And finding further proof that was the case at times won’t definitively provide an answer to what UFOs are.

8 comments:

Deirdre said...

I think there is probably some truth to the US developing certain saucer-type craft for the purpose of creating the illusion of visitation -- for whatever the reason -- but I don't think this is the case across the board. There are definitely some unknowns -- especially unknowns that existed prior to the solidification of the US government.

I used to like Carrion's work more than I currently do -- and I certainly don't hate the guy. He's is a very hardcore skeptic (which is fine, I think skepticism is very healthy) but something obviously triggered his interest. All Carrion = disinfo agent accusations aside, where it is easy to lose your head and jump to conclusions when investigating or researching UFOs, James never really allowed that to happen to himself (at least not publicly, to my knowledge).

The article is a little smug and it seems a bit self-fellating in it's pursuance of a new non-UFO UFO organization (which makes little sense in itself) but I can't even fault him entirely for that. After all, many of us have always wanted to draw a distinct line between who we thought were 'serious' researches and who we thought were the nut-bags. I mean, that's a large part of where the current "UFOlogy is dead" meme that everyone is suddenly riding on, comes from. The problem is that CUT -- unless it is an extremely exclusive organization, may eventually attract the kinds of individuals the organization seeks to avoid.

One of the things that does irk me is how he is reacting to UFOlogy now: It's not unlike when people quit smoking after X amount of years and suddenly overnight become the "Eww, cigarette smoke, get it away!" people. Hey, something kept you in this for an ungodly amount of years -- don't go pointing fingers at people for doing what you did up till *only recently*, just because you had your "eyes opened". I'm all for people relaying the merits of letting go of some of this crap and giving their perspective -- but to suddenly criticize others' involvement just because you don't like the 'field' anymore, is silly to me. Unless you're targeting the charlatans -- in which case, have at it, I say. Of course, James is probably still upset because he was pretty much ousted from MUFON -- I'd probably want to give them the finger, too.

I somewhat agree with him on his "Ufology has nothing to show for more than 60 years of amateur investigation and research" paragraph. We have a lot of hearsay, some excellent testimony, but no real evidence -- or what is now considered as 'evidence' at least. But yeah, we still have no idea WTF is going on and we get mixed signals from 'credible' people all of the time -- such as with Alderin and other notable figures.

One of the most difficult conflicts within UFOlogy (and the Paranormal) is the road that separates the experiencers from the on-experiencers. Much of UFOlogy is made up of non-experiencers, and having non-experiencers tell experiencers what it is they were 'actually seeing' can be beyond frustrating when their experiencers are belittled, made fun of, or outright ignored. Evidence is often hardly a concern when one has direct personal involvement with the unknown.

Jer (or it may have been Jeff), on BOA said that (I'm paraphrazing) he "...felt maybe the best approach to this subject might be an individual approach. Where you make up your own mind and don't give a fuck what everyone else thinks". I mean, Hell, most of the time we're all arguing about what people believe -- believe about a topic that is still largely unknown. How do you argue a point about the unknown when there is virtually no base from which to stand? It all ends up being "My crazy belief is more rational than your crazy belief!" ad nauseum.

Red Pill Junkie said...

Sooo... what will this new organization motto be:

CUT TO THE CHASE

or

CUT THE CRAP!

I vote #2 :-P

PS: "self-fellating"?? that made my back hurt... from laughing that is ;)

IMO, if this guy wants to make things different from the usual UFO groups shtick, he has to follow Vallee's advise: do it quietly, and privately; do not openly acknowledge you're investigating UFOs, and keep your conclusions to yourself —for at least say, 20 years.

Lesley said...

As always we are on the same wavelength. I will be posting about this later tonight at TDF.

Brownie said...

Carion seems to be talking out of both sides of his (well you know).

I don't 'get' him and his transformation as of late.

Catchy title for yet another UFO organization. {Got UFO problems?? Call CUT!!} ;-)

As for Carion (and others) saying Ufology is dead. Well, I remember around 2000/2001, this was a fairly common statement, usually made by skeptoids on the various ufo clubs/forums/groups online.

Why Carion would state much the same thing now, is strange. If Ufology is dead, then he ought to leave it.

Anyone who's been involved with the subject (as he has) must know that there isn't a big *reveal* that neatly answers all questions in this subject. UFOs and their occupants seem too complex and enigmatic for us to understand. But, we can still report, invesitagate, ponder and write about them.

lucretiasheart said...

I remember the whole "UFOlogy is dead" thing being hailed around 2000, too. To state this means to ignore that the second largest area of searches on the internet (after porn) is Fortean-related news.

Now, if people are more curious (if only secretly) about weird events around the world than about celebrity news or any number of other things, then what does that tell you? For one, that the mainstream media is missing out on a gigantic cash cow for some bizarre reason and for another that UFOlogy, along with all other areas of anomalous phenomenon, are hardly going to go away and be conveniently "dead" any time soon.

Thanks for the rant-share. I concur.

Brownie said...

Lucretia - About the UFO subject being a "cash cow" that the media is missing out on. Yes! I've thought that too.

The tv market is saturated at this point with ghostie shows yet a ufo show gets canned (UFO Hunters).

I'm thinking there's something conspiratorial about this. Maybe there's such a horror about UFOs and what they do, that our government doesn't want to have to deal with it being investigated and discussed seriously on a weekly basis.

To have shows on UFOs might be overwhelming resulting in too many questions from an uneasy audience without an authority figure [government] to provide a satisfactory answer.

lucretiasheart said...

Brownie--

There have been shows during the 70's (like In Search Of) and 90's (like Sightings) that regularly discussed UFOs, alien abductions, and the like-- and the world hardly came crashing down.

I hesitate to think everything is a conspiracy, but sometimes it's hard to think of another explanation that could possibly explain not running what would surely be a successful show.

lucretiasheart said...

Brownie-

They had shows in the 70's (like In Search Of) the 80's and the 90's (like Sightings) that regularly featured topics like UFOs and alien abductions and the world didn't come crashing down. They were very popular.

I hesitate to yell "conspiracy!" but it does seem a mite suspicious...