Monday, April 17, 2006

Redfern on "The Future of Ufology"

My friend Nick Redfern sent me his thoughts on the Wit & Wisdom of James W. Moseley, Vol. I column, wherein I used some recent musings by Moseley in Saucer Smear to question the future of ufology.

Here is Nick's take on things (er... including the fact that I revealed he's over 40!):

"Hi Paul

Many thanks for informing the Internet that I have now passed the 40 milestone! LOL. :)

Seriously, though, I actually never considered myself to be part of the 'future of ufology' as you put it.

In fact, I actually don't think it's important if there is a future for ufology (as a collective medium anyway).

Personally, I think that if there are people out there doing research and coming to their own personal conclusions, then this is actually more important than trying to prop up, or ensure the future of, ufology (in the form it has been perceived in the past and just because ufology as a collective group of people has existed for the last half a century or so).

So what if things change and the old days are gone? It doesn't matter.

My own take on it is that it doesn't matter if UFO conferences go the way of the dinosaur or if this magazine closes down or that magazine closes down. Because we have the Internet instead, and we have our personal beliefs.

If others don't share those beliefs and have their own beliefs, again that's far more important than trying to ensure that 'Flying Saucers and Aliens Weekly' continues publication after 46 years.

Or that the annual 'Saucer Conference' keeps on being held every year just because it has done so in the past and there are those teary-eyed nostalgia-driven souls yearning for the old days.

I suspect that (at a reduced level obviously!) for many people who have been in the subject for decades, it is the nature of the old ufology dying away that concerns them.

These people need to realize that in the same way that the world changes, ufology will change. Trying to hang on to the old ufology of the 50s, 60s and 70s is something that I see certain figures trying to do. But it's (to me, at least) very much a head-in-the-sand approach.

The 'good old days' as some no doubt see it all would be a god description of what some people want to hang on to. Well, if the good old days are gone, and ufology changes and becomes more Net based and less magazine, conference, and personality driven, well that's how it goes.

Feel free to post/comment on the above if you want.

Cheers,
Nick"

I agree with Nick on almost all of the above. I also think that change is a good thing, and long overdue.

However, the original question that both Moseley and I asked, was where are the young researchers - the next generation who will do exactly what Nick is suggesting folks do?

Any suggestions, folks? Who are the "NextGen" guys and gals who are going to move the serious study of the UFO phenomenon forward?

Paul Kimball

4 comments:

BoudiccasSPEAR said...

Nick Redfern Rocks!!!
That should be on a t-shirt.
My favorite book is still THREE MEN SEEKING MONSTERS!

B.

The Odd Emperor said...

Well really;

Every generation thinks that the next one is missing some important component, some spark that only they have. Every new generation think the last one is old fashioned, over the hill etc.

The “dreaded Internet” (- and how I love that phrase) has made everyone into an amateur publisher with expected results. Now, anyone can pontificate on the “trvth” as they see it. They can reach a world-wide audience where before their crayon-scribblings were relegated a paper bag, it’s completely changed how we gain (or not gain) knowledge.

In a field where before there was little accreditation (other than some publisher thinking they could make a buck off of book sales,) now we have a wild-west of ideas and counter ideas without any semblance of discipline. The elite by virtue of being published are now just voices in a rising chorus. The elite are still heard above this din but it’s getting more difficult to get noticed I think.

Now we have simple applications that allow anyone to do a world-wide radio or video presentation, think how that’s changing things!

Paul Kimball said...

Odd:

I don't think that the last generation is old fashioned, but the old must always, at some point, make way for the new - who should, in turn, build upon the work of the old, as oppsoed to trying to re-invent the wheel.

As for the "dreaded Internet", all that I can say is that all people were created equal, but that all opinions are not. The Internet era has brought that reality home, in spades... and clubs, hearts and diamonds!

Paul

Paul Kimball said...

Boudiccasspear:

Three Men Seeking Monsters is also my favourite book by Nick. I've had the pleasure of doing some monster hunting with him myself (with camera crew in tow), and look forward to working with him again!

Paul