Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Prison of Ufology

The last few weeks have been instructive for me since I've returned to occasional blogging. It has been a stark reminder of the intellectual prison that is "ufology".

Articles posted by me about mysticism, philosophy, spirituality, and even some serious reflections on the UFO phenomenon... nothing. Not a comment, and at most a dozen or so readers. None of the so-called "news summary" sites of the paranormal picked them up. 

That's fine with me. I write for myself - if people want to have a look, or comment, that's great. If not, that's fine too. I have a fulfilling career and a great personal life. This is just one of my many hobbies.

But I'm the exception that proves the rule. I value civil discourse. I cherish open dialogue and serious research. I try to start conversations that will inform, enlighten, and perhaps inspire people to think. The people I care about, like Greg Bishop, Nick Redfern, Aaron Gulyas, and the late Mac Tonnies, understand that. But it's not popular, because the vast majority of people have no real interest in the paranormal, or the mysteries of life. Sure, they may say they do, in the same way that people who go to see cage fighting claim to be fans of the sporting ethos, but the truth is that they want to see blood. 

Mysticism, philosophy, even UFOs? Nope. Not interested.

The cage fight that is Roswell? Sign them up. There have been more hits in a single day for my article on Kevin Randle and the "Dream Team" mess than I've had here in years, well into the four figures. The Anomalist ran it. So did The Paracast (ironically less than a week after having Don Schmitt on their show and giving him a total pass). Others will as well.

But if ever there was a story here that people should have passed by, it's the Roswell / Randle one. I posted it because I felt a moral obligation to do so, and only after I had been dragged into it without asking. But while I viewed it as necessary, in the same way that taking out the trash is necessary every week, it's not something of which I'm proud, or that I consider valuable. It is garbage.

But that's ufology, particularly in the Internet era - a prison populated by conflict addicts and intellectual grifters. The people who read an article like the one I wrote but have no interest in all the others are as bad as the people I wrote it about - maybe even worse. 

Fortunately I am free of the need to be popular, and have no interest in the inmates who are incarcerated in the prison. They can sit in their cells and complain all they want about people not taking them seriously, but they have no-one but themselves to blame.

After all... if you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

Paul Kimball


Greg said...

Nothing much in the UFO field interests, surprises, or makes me think anymore, with the exception of discourses by you, Nick, Bruce D, Micah Hanks, Lesley, and a few others (including Albert Rosales' Humanoid Reports project and website.)

I have no wish to get tangled in any more fights, since there is nothing worth fighting about. I was irritated with Robert Hastings a couple of years back, but winning an argument with him over something no one really cares about made me realize that most of this stuff is just not worth getting worked up about.

Just about all the important stuff has been said and has been largely ignored. It seems to confuse believers and fundamentalist skeptics alike.

Roswell will most likely never be solved, at least not in our lifetimes. Everyone has an opinion on it anyway, which won't be changed by any new evidence.

The truth, whatever that is, remains hidden by egos, incompetence, belief systems, herd mentality, and our own culture. The very language we use is probably a poor tool with which to examine UFOs and associated phenomena.

Tim Hebert said...

Paul, I've enjoyed your recent postings concerning the Roswell "debacle" and the follow-on maelstrom.

I've said this before, Roswell is ufology's version of the Vietnam War, a quagmire with no appreciable exit strategy.

I've always been fascinated by the psychological drama brought forth by the UFO phenomena...Roswell being no exception.

I've posted little to no comments on the Iconoclasts' blog due to not having a dog in the fight, and more importantly, not having anything of relevance to add to the discussion.

Kind Regards,


Paul Kimball said...

Thank you, Tim. The more I interact with ufologists, the more I appreciate most skeptics. :-)

Paul Kimball said...


As usual, old chum, we are in agreement. Well said!


Paul Kimball said...


An addendum. Your Vietnam analogy is apt. Kevin Randle is Lyndon Johnson of the Roswell quagmire - a good man who has done many good things, but all of that is overshadowed, as is his judgment and ultimately his reputation, by the one thing he got into and can't bring himself to get out of.


Ray Palm (Ray X) said...

Hey, I would've commented on your other posts re: paranormal and mysticism if I knew you were back at blogging. Lost track of you for a while.

I haven't found a good replacement for Google Reader and now I just bookmark sites I want to follow. This one has been added.

Like you I don't want to write "for the audience" like they say in mainstream publishing. Good to see that you're delving into other areas.

Jim Moseley had a few paranormal experiences that influenced his take on UFOs. He told me a couple of interesting stories. Jim also said that even if Roswell was more than a weather balloon it was buried under so much BS that no one would ever learn the real story.

Unfortunately Jim and Mac Tonnies are no longer around to add their voices to the discussion.

Paul Kimball said...

Hi Ray,

I come and go, as time and level of interest allow. I keep an eye on your work, however... always an interesting read.

Towards the end of his life Jim told me about some of his weirder experiences as well, and asked me more than a few questions about my "ghost hunting" on Ghost Cases. He said he knew the end was near, and he was curious, as opposed to worried, about what might lie beyond.


Sapient said...

Jim would be laughing his arse off.
Nice to hear that about "curious", Paul. I believe it. He was about as easy-going and curious a person, in most things, as I've ever met.

I agree, modern-day ETH ufology is a prison. At this stage of the game, a deeply pathological one. It's funny how little mass media notice has been made of this "Dream Team"; even funnier that any of the team ever used the name with a straight face.

Charles Swenson said...

The beauty of Roswell is that at this distant remove it is almost as impossible to disprove as it is to prove...the stuff that legends are made of!