Sunday, May 07, 2006

What's In a Name?

UFO is a term loaded with a lot of baggage. It is also, unless you happen to be an adherent of the ETH or EDH, inaccurate - for those of us who maintain that the phenomenon remains a mystery (worth study), the "O" presents a problem, because "object" carries with a certain conclusion that the evidence doesn't yet support (and maybe it never will).

So, some folks, myself included, maintain that UAP - Unidentified Aerial Phenomena - is a better, more scientifically descriptive term, and one that doesn't have the stigma attached to it that "UFO" does.

Widespread acceptance of this term would probably help with the promotion of the serious study of the phenomenon. "UFO" could be left for the fringers, and the true believers.

However, there is a problem.

If someone who studies UFOs is a "ufologist", practicing "ufology", then logic dictates that someone who studies UAP is a "Uapologist", practicing "Uapology".

Which makes perfect sense, no doubt, to those, like Stan Friedman, who have no time for "apologist ufologists"!

Then again, Stan still insists on using "flying saucers", a term of even more questionable lineage and applicability than UFO.

All things considered, perhaps the status quo isn't so bad after all!

Paul Kimball


Anonymous said...

This is a tough question. I wonder how a good PR firm would approach this problem? I wonder if there are historially any analogs to this problem that one could study?


Paul Kimball said...


Problem? What problem??

Most Ethers (hey - I like that!) already think I'm an U-apologist! :-)