Those who follow my work and writing know my feelings about the state of modern Ufology: though I don’t ever endorse tossing babies out with bath water, there is a multitude of strangeness that has accumulated over the years in this field which, due to rather broad interpretations being made and belief-oriented approaches applied, have left us with many preconceptions. I’d wager that a number of these preconceptions about UFOs (i.e. they’re aliens from space, or even they’re friendly space-brothers here to warn us about an impending man-made apocalypse) are as far from being accurate as they could possibly be. Therefore, there is a certain necessity now for breaking down what we know, and working our way up again from the base, so that our foundations of knowledge aren’t completely skewed by conjecture and what, in many cases, may amount to fantasies rather than scientific logic.
A unique analysis of this sort of idea, referred to categorically as “The New Ufology,” was recently added to the Dr. Esoterica blog. In the post, the author, who goes by the same enigmatic moniker for which the site is named, noted that “it is the old nuts and bolts mechanistic Ufology that is in danger of becoming irrelevant in the Postmodern age with its quantum epistemology which lacks the old mechanistic equivalency ofby
8 Replies to “The New Ufology: A Kind Endorsement from Dr. Esoterica”
Well, the good doctor first raved the Matrix movie (Yaay!) but immediately ranted about it (Awww).
Nevertheless, it was a good post 🙂
In a recent discussion at the digital wilderness knows as the Paracast forums (proceed at your own peril) I commented about Stanton Friedman and his approach to UFOlogy.
Truly no one can dispute Stan the Man is the most famous UFOlogist in the world, and is the one who in recent times has done the most to educate the public about the reality of the UFO phenomenon
I tracked back and read the Dr Esoterica blog and then Bennett’s article and found them interesting. In Bennett’s article, I wasn’t happy with the evidence he used to support his position. He was eloquent, but his understated disagreement with the ETH and its proponents (Haisch et al) wasn’t convincing. It’s reasonable that those favouring the ‘physical craft’ explanation will look towards the scientific method to somehow prove their contention. They have a testable hypothesis and one that isn’t as simplistic as alternative perspectives like to suggest.
His ‘New Ufolgy’ point that ‘we may have to prepare ourselves to meet quite out-of-the-box forms of Being, Matter and Idea, which will quite defeat our Cartesian/Newtonian clocks and measuring rods,’ is hard to disagree with; it makes sense. His next point is plausible, but ultimately how far can it take investigation? Should it be called the ‘Man, that’s weird Hypothesis? Perhaps the ‘Let’s Give Up Hypothesis?’
Using Meier and Adamski to support the position seems reckless. Their attempts at hoaxing the public are well known. Characterising the dismissal of their claims as ‘sceptical necessity’ is way off the mark in my opinion. We’ve seen the images of Semjase and it isn’t a reluctance to ‘ask ourselves not what is true or untrue so much as ask what are we prepared to allow ourselves to experience.’ The images are fake so should we ‘ask ourselves’ if it’s worth considering if Semjase is real? There’s surely enough fluff and chaff in the field without speculating the truth:lie ratio of known tale-tellers.
Bennett’s account of the Lancaster bomber over London is evocative. Just reading it, I could put myself on the spot and visualise the scene. It’d be a great experience. On the other hand, its story arc is indicative of fictional narrative. I can’t prove that any more than he could prove it happened, but it reads too ‘neat’ for my tastes.
‘New Ufology’ isn’t that new. I’m not even sure there’s been a ‘new’ idea in ufology for decades. Anyone with an interest seems to gravitate to ideas that suits their outlook on life. Type 3 aliens, demons, space brothers or expressions of our consciousness? It’s all UFOs to me.
I would agree with you that the concepts we might attribute to “New Ufology” (a rather nebulous term in itself) are for the most part nothing that are really new. It is very clear that Jacques Vallee, for instance, spawned legions of individuals who similarly thought that UFOs might not be extraterrestrials, but aliens from someplace else (another dimension, perhaps), and that this innovative approach to studying UFOs has been around for decades already.
This previous statement–that aliens might be “from” some place–might easily be taken for granted with the notion that we accept “from” rather loosely as a term. Looking deeper, we might attribute it to allusions of the object of the discussion (alien visitors) having a point of origin. Quite the contrary, I’m not certain that an “origin” is even something that might apply to what, generally, might instead only be likened to a presence that is somehow related to humanity, rather than “visitors” who arrived here from some physical place.
Concepts like this begin to extend beyond the generally accepted lines of thought pertaining to UFOs; but they are really nothing new, either, when we go ahead and look beyond the confines of typical “Ufology.” Metaphysically (and not in the modern “supernatural” sense, but instead inferring a philosophical and logical viewpoint), we begin to notice a number of questions we’ve asked about UFOs and aliens today that, similarly, we have accepted about ourselves through general philosophical thought for centuries at least… and indeed, we’ve still yet to come to any firm conclusions there, either. It almost seems that the UFO enigma is destined to remain a bizarre extension of something from deep within ourselves.
In defense of Bennett, occasionally there may be times (such as what I’ve attempted to outline above) where the complex nature of the argument defies that which can be communicated easily in print. Though we may not agree with the examples he chooses (you, or I, for that matter), I understand that Bennett was attempting to communicate something using a degree of metaphor, and thus enhance our understanding of the broader concept through comparison. The “New Ufology” is essentially a continuous emergence of new philosophical perspectives of the UFO problem, aided perhaps by occasional mathematical logic and advancement of the various sciences. The only issue is that such thought processes seem to have been applied to other areas of study in the past, with similar strange conclusions about the nature reality emerging then that we now see and claim to have “discovered” regarding strange objects seen in the skies… In reality, perhaps the questions we ask about UFOs, compared with those we ask about ourselves, are one and the same.
That said, the simplest of comparisons might offer a brilliant, though subtle way to illuminate such consistencies!
Thanks for your insights, Kandinsky!
Right now I’m listening to the Paracast interview with Jerome Clark as guest. At one point during the interview, he tries to make a disticntion between what he calls the “Event phenomena”, or the manifestations of the UFO mystery that leaves a physical trace that can be analyzed later. Clark sees this as the core of the UFO phenomena.
But there’s also the “Experiencial phenomena”, and that’s where the high strangeness accounts are usually found, and also the stuff that has been usually pooh-poohed or cast aside by the majority of researchers, who are more eager to make a convincing case of the reality of UFOs to Science and the world at large.
Perhaps the really innovative emergent characteristic we’re witnessing in Ufology, is that the social networks and the Internet are empowering experiencers of high-strangeness to side-step the filters of the investigators, and share their experiences with the world at large in a raw unfiltered format.
These experiencers don’t need to tell their story to a researcher, who might choose to simplify it or compress it in order to fit in the thesis of his book. The experiencers don’t even have to find a way to publish a book anymore! with an Internet account they can become bloggers and write on-line journals that can be read at any time anywhere in the world.
This might no doubt be seen to some of the more experienced researchers as “the insane taking over the asylum”. Yet I for one am grateful that we can analyze for ourselves the trove of information the experiencers have to share. Mostly will probably be useless or overtly biased, but there’s the chance of finding the occasional jewel that will help us further connect the dots.
So that’s my humble suggestion for the New Ufology: focus on the Experiencial aspect of the phenomena. We’ve been doing just the opposite for the last 6 decades or so, what do we have to lose?
Oh astute colleague of mine, I think you’re spot on. And you’re right… what the HELL have we got to lose? It’s like what I said on the show last night… if we were following any verifiable logic that was working to our benefit with regard to studying UFOs, one might assume we’d be further along the path to discovery than we are, eh?
By studying experiences primarily, we may begin to see things we haven’t previously allowed ourselves to notice. And speaking of Jerry Clark, I always liked him… have read his stuff for years. He’s primarily a skeptic, and during that recent Paratopia interview I did, I mentioned some of Clark’s ideals with regard to research. I don’t think he endorsed the ETH hypothesis… or much of anything considered “conventional” in the field.
Hey – I just heard from Red Pill Junkie that his comment above was directed at my on-going blog.
He wrote me – that he wrote you – that he… “kind of gave a veiled hat tip to your blog, and the blog of the people that have gathered around it.”
Forgive me if this seems like shameless self promoting, but I wanna agree with RPG. There is a wealth of heart-felt, un-edited, first-person experiences getting logged on the internet.
There is a new (and vastly more bizarre) overall painting of the direct UFO contact phenomenon emerging from the grass roots up.
My own first-person attempts to explore my own existential angst.
RPG is a super-fan, and a sort of member of the family.
I fully recommend Mike’s blog. In it you’re not going to find someone wanting to dazzle people with extravagant alien-human encounters.
What you’ll find instead is the personal journey of self-discovery of an honest and courageous individual, trying to come into terms with the little veiled intrusions of a larger reality, into his daily life.
As an side, Mike was the artist in charge of the illustrations that grace the pages of the late Mac Tonnies’ magnum opus “The Cryptoterrestrials.”
I think that the wast number of ufo
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