“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” – Hunter S. Thompson
ABOVE: I’m hard at work (left) while fellow researcher Christopher McCollum grins at the dancing troupe of Graliens mere inches in front of us.
I’ll be the first to admit that, since the outset of my active participation as blogger in the unexplained and UFO community years ago (and even fairly recently on occasion), I have at times taken a rather lighthearted, even cynical approach to certain subject matter. I think this approach can tend to manifest for a number of reasons: for one, sometimes the only way to provide a “safety net” for oneself if they choose to tackle certain bizarre subjects is to approach these with a bit of humor (consider the infamous “probes” that alien abductees refer to, having to do with examinations of starkly inconvenient bodily orifices and the like. Some folks find it tough, for some reason, to be completely straight-faced about that one).
It is sad indeed, in retrospect, that in order to be taken seriously, the best way to protect yourself when discussing such things is to have to be ridiculous about it.
Granted, my first published article back in 2004, a piece I wrote for FATE Magazine titled Voices in the Dark: Do Sasquatches Have a Language?, was far less humorous in its approach. If anything, my references to the work of Noam Chomsky and Charles Hockett’s innovations in structural linguistics had to be edited out of the printed version, since they tended to take the argument in an academic direction that wafted safely over the heads of some of the readership (actually, I still give my readers the benefit of the doubt on that one, and frankly think that if more outlets would be willing to embrace the scientific aspects of paranormal research, we’d all stand to gain… but then again, I also understand that sales and marketing are another thing altogether, and sometimes we have to accept a “watered down” variation of an argument in order to hope to get our point across). Regardless, my premise was simple: suspending our disbelief and considering that Sasquatches might be a real, biological species, could their human-like nature, based on witness descriptions, lend itself to the idea that they might actually be capable of other human-like activities, namely speech? If so, what else could we discern about their behavior if this were found to be the case?
During my most serious moments, I think I have a tendency to get a little too “heady” for some folks, concerning the ideas and concepts I try and present (this isn’t to say that I perceive my ideas and suppositions as being in any way better than what someone else could dream up). I just know that, at times, the way I articulate things gets… well, complicated. That said, in between the heady arguments about the strange and unusual nature of our universe, I’ve had a certain tendency to cut-up a bit here and there, although time and maturation will eventually remedy one’s tendencies in this regard. In fact, after a while, the necessity for a certain seriousness in this body of research suddenly begins to make itself far more apparent.
Personally, it feels like this moment has arrived with regard to my own research. Rather than having made some conscious decision about it, I’ve instead noticed it well after the fact, as I’ve watched my own perceptions begin to sharpen slightly, and I’ve caught myself asking far more questions about, well, everything than I once did. Speaking more broadly, I also gather that I’m not the only person thinking along these lines. There seems to be a lot of room for bold reevaluations in researching the unexplained in general these days, but my specific focus in this regard has applied mostly to the study of UFOs. Writing for Mysterious Universe, I recently touched on sentiments such as these in my article “Causal Correlations: UFO Abductions Under Fire“, where I discussed the recent debate that has erupted over researchers Budd Hopkins and Dr. David Jacobs, and how their studies have affected the greater UFO knowledge base:
Perhaps leaping to conclusions and supposing that none of the available evidence of human interaction with alien beings is trustworthy would do us as much disservice as blindly following the logic set forth by researchers such as Hopkins or Jacobs. After all, there is clearly consistency between peopleby