Sunday, July 10, 2011

Seriously, A New UFOlogy. Seriously...

Another intent to remake UFOlogy, and they are serious. Here they are: The Serious New UFOlogy Institute. Words like "serious" and institute" are heavy and pregnant with meaning, well, you know, serious. They have a paper, authored by Paul Budding: BEYOND THE LIVING MYTH… AND FROM SERIOUS ‘OLD’ UFOLOGY TO SERIOUS ‘NEW’ UFOLOGY

The group admires  Richard Dolan's work and gives him plenty of credit, a very good thing. But something about any organization, especially with the words "serious" and "institute" both in their name, makes me want to run in the other direction. By definition, organizations are things, (er, "institutes") that defy my wanting to join them. (Or, er,  take them seriously.)  That's my nature.

The Institute of Serious UFOlogy (I can't help but get a bit of a Monty Python vibe when I read that title) contrasts serious old Ufology with serious new UFOlgy. No longer concerned with collecting UFO accounts, the new serious UFOlogy is only concerned with: what are [UFOs] they?  Excellent question, and I share their opinion the ETH isn't a given. It isn't a given, but it is a good possibility. It's also possible there are many answers all at once, because UFOs seem to be many things all at once. An ET here, an ultra-crypto-terrestrial there, a rogue government Dr. Evil thing over there. Or even the demons and Djinn and dark energies called up by semi-pathological rocket scientists.
The institute is concerned with the "Living Myth" of the ETH:
The Extraterrestrial Hypothesis (ETH) equates to a Living Myth. Many people love the feeling of awe and fascination that goes with the UFO Phenomenon and therefore they will not give up ETH. Giving up ETH would amount to giving up on archetypal awe, fascination, mystery etc. Therefore scientific and academic Ufology lacks confidence in itself precisely because the mythological projections onto the field contain so many archetypal contents and unconscious assumptions. Hence the field senses its own biases and makes it impossible to establish consensus within itself. Indeed for ETH to be the correct explanation there would have to be a coincidence of the myth equating to the reality of the phenomenon and vice versa.  
Much is true of the above. Budding writes the institute does not "condemn" the Living Myth, just that it needs to be excised in order to get an accurate  picture. But at what point does one decide the living-myth-projections-unconscious-assumptions et all are to be discarded? Like it or not, and obviously there are some UFO researchers who do not, there is a whole mess of confusing, seemingly magical at times, and certainly huge WTF moments within UFO events. Discarding those because they're part of a "living myth" taints the research. Now you're left studying only a bit of the thing. How can it be expected that one will find something of validity using that method?

To their credit they acknowledge that it is reasonable to assume there are many concurrent theories that are fairly equally true:
However, as already said, it is possible that no single theory can explain the whole phenomenon. Just because ‘X’ is true doesn’t mean that ‘Y’ is false in this case. Oddly enough there is an obsession for one theory answers: whether they are debunkers, ETH proponents or advocates of other dimensions, or those advocating an earth/human based answer.
It doesn't matter if it's Bigfoot, UFOs, ghosts or any number of anomalous events; many people demand a "one theory answer." Are UFOs solid craft or high strangeness events, are abductions fantasy or alien (ET) caused, is Bigfoot flesh and blood or paranormal, and so on. Black and white theories that are of a compact size, leaving no room for those gray baskets.

 As with the disclosure and other movements, the new serious ufology is brightly naive in thinking that skeptics, scientists and politicians will be open and accepting of UFOs once the phenomena is presented, well, seriously:
Politicians would be forced to show the field respect if Serious Ufology really was able to clearly demonstrate its differentiation from the Living Myth. This necessitates that serious physicists and technologists study the phenomenon.
No one will be "forced to show the field respect" because the field will never get respect. The existence of UFOs -- and their occupants -- are known among the politicians controllers of the world, as well as many in other areas. The details may or may not be known, but the fact of UFOs is. There are concurrent forces at work: one, the phenomena itself. Call it trickster or something else, the UFO phenomena -- which includes the high strangeness/"living myth" stuff -- has a built in function that ensures it remains marginalized. The second concurrent force are the agendas of those humans (above mentioned controllers) who have their own reasons for playing games with the rest of us. As cliche as it sounds, good old cover-ups, conspiracies and disinformation are the human created responses to the UFO presence.

Meanwhile, there are the witnesses. Remember us? Speaking of which, if the "new serious ufology" isn't concerned with collecting new UFO events, how will they recognize the ever shifting manifestations of UFOs? Questions and ideas about UFOs will never be addressed, because they're not being looked at. Soon the new ufology -- sorry, the new serious ufology -- will become the stagnant serious ufology. Before becoming the new old ufology, when another takes its place.


Lesley said...

Always room for another self important group (or institute). :-)

Alfred Lehmberg said...

...Hugely underwhelming, eh?

Greg said...

Boxing themselves in already, and yes, I agree with everything you wrote. Organizations will not solve the problem because it's "designed" to get around rigid mindsets and people who are out to solve it. Where does that leave us? I don't know!