Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Four Rules for Ufologists

Here are the four major rules for many ufologists (not all, thank goodness, but an ever increasing majority):

1. What the public doesn't know, we certainly won't tell them.

2. Don't bother me with the facts, my mind is made up.

3. If one can't attack the data, attack the people. It's easier.

4. Do one's research by proclamation rather than investigation. It's much easier, and nobody will know the difference anyway.

Rules #2 and #3 are collectively referred to as "The Jerry Clark Stratagem".

In terms of #4, you can count the number of ufologists who do actual research - you know, the kind that grad students would be required to undertake (as just one example) - on two hands. And I'm being charitable.

And no, searching Wikipedia doesn't count.

Meanwhile, speaking of Sir Jerome Snark, in a post at UFO Updates today he referred derisively to certain "self-identified ufologists", which is hilarious - are there any other kind, or is there some sort of accrediting body, like lawyers and doctors have, that hands out official "Ufologist" certificates? I must have missed that, in the same way that poor old Jerry consistently misses the boat these days.

Sir Snark, in a comment clearly directed at moi, also states:

"I realized that some nadir had been reached when I was attacked recently for being too concerned about the requirements of science and scientific inquiry."

Just to set the record straight, Sir Snark, you were called out for being too overeager to be seen as respectable by the scientific establishment. That's different than saying you're too concerned about the requirements of science and scientific inquiry, which, need I remind you (ed. - yes, you must), should be about keeping an open mind, i.e. not shouting down a hypothesis (er... perhaps like cryptoterrestrials) without actually having read the author's book, which has yet to be even published (and, for the record, I doubt Mac will convince me, but I'm willing to at least listen to what he has to say before I offer a critique).


Mac Tonnies briefly outlines his CTH in the clip above; somewhere Sir Snark is shaking his head in complete and utter disbelief at the effrontery of this midwestern hick.

I often wonder why guys like Sir Snark give a fig about what the scientific community thinks about them, because they've already established their own elitist ivory tower, with appeals to authority and calls from on high the currency of the realm. It reminds me of some of the dialogue that I wrote for Marat:

"We look up from the street
at the towers of the other estates
watching them as they reach
to the boundaries of Heaven’s Gate
All the gods and the goddesses
look down from inside
they spit
and it rains
they shit
and we stain."

Alas, in the case of most Ufological "gods and goddesses", they're impostors, who have been writing intellectual cheques that their talent just can't cover. They have the egos of the Gods, but that's it. Again, there are exceptions that prove the rule - and, again, you can probably count them on those same ten fingers, give or take.

The people really worth your time are the ones who will admit that they're just marking time, and that what the study of the UFO phenomenon truly needs to move forward are some of those Nobel Prize calibre folks that Brad Sparks is always on about (properly so, in my opinion).


Brad Sparks dishes out some hard truths for ufologists

Because the amateurs - myself included - have taken things as far as they can. From hereon in, we're just hamsters running around a wheel, getting nowhere (although it may be fun to keep on running). One could argue that it's been that way for years, decades even.

The goal should be to convince people further up the intellectual food chain to take a real interest, but it isn't, at least not with ufology, which is the poster child for the "big fish in a small pond" syndrome.

So long as the likes of Jerry Clark rule the roost, that will never happen (ahh... the irony).

Which is why the future study of the UFO phenomenon will have nothing to do with "ufology".

Paul Kimball

5 comments:

Tony2007 said...

In the future, what kind of UFO phenomenon will we be dealing with? When will we have that one phenomenon where the cameras are all pointing up, and no amount of government influence could convince us of what we saw?

I seriously think that our future with UFOs and ETs will depend on just how close they want to get to us. I wouldn't blame them for keeping their distance.

Paul Kimball said...

Tony:

You wrote:

I seriously think that our future with UFOs and ETs will depend on just how close they want to get to us. I wouldn't blame them for keeping their distance.

I don't assume that any UFOs are ETs, although it's possible, but otherwise I agree with you completely.

Look at the example of European exploration (which featured considerably less advanced technology). If the Europeans had wanted to keep their presence secret from the Native Americans, they easily could have - perhaps they would have come ashore and done some surveying and such, maybe even some exploration. Perhaps they would have captured some Natives and taken them home with them, perhaps to return them one day with incredible - and unbelievable to most - stories of a fantastical world across the sea. And so forth. But they chose to make contact, and the rest is history.

If there are ETs, we'll know it when they want us to, or when we get advanced enough to go out there and poke about ourselves - not before. Ditto any other paranormal explanation for the UFO phenomenon.

As always, thanks for the input.

Paul

binnall said...

Good to see you writing about the UFO topic again.

Those "four rules" cited @ the beginning of your post are Stanton Friedman's "Four Rules for Debunkers".

I see how your post shows that they can also be applied to Ufologists, but I was surprised to see nary a mention of Sir Stanton (yes, I've knighted him), since he ostensibly coined the "rules".

Paul Kimball said...

I was surprised to see nary a mention of Sir Stanton (yes, I've knighted him), since he ostensibly coined the "rules".

Tim:

The key to good writing, as any screenwriter will tell you, is to never make it too obvious. :-)

Paul

Mac said...

somewhere Sir Snark is shaking his head in complete and utter disbelief at the effrontery of this midwestern hick.

;-)