Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Mount Rushmore of Ufology

At the UFO Updates Facebook page, Alex Sarmiento posed the following question yesterday:

"The Mount Rushmore of ufology would consist of...?"

I suppose it depends on how you view "ufology." Should it be the most popular figures in the history of ufology? The most significant in terms of actual research? The craziest? A combination of all three?

I guess we should look at the real Mount Rushmore. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum chose Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt largely for their role in preserving the United States and expanding its territory. If we were to apply that rationale to ufology, then I think the choices become obvious, at least to me.

1. Donald E. Keyhoe - The man who more or less started it all.

2. George Adamski - The most recognizable of the Contactees; the undercurrents of his influence can still be felt.

3. Stanton Friedman - The most prolific UFO showman ever, and the man who brought the Roswell incident to the fore and then became its public face.

4. Steven Greer - His Disclosure Project and subsequent Exopolitics movement have changed the subculture of ufology.

One can trace a direct line in terms of development between the conspiracy-minded Keyhoe to the even more conspiracy-minded Greer, and include Adamski and Friedman along the way.

That would be my Mount Rushmore of ufology, for good and ill. What about yours?

Paul Kimball


Terry the Censor said...

Arnold, Keyhoe, Betty Hill, Hynek.

Paul Kimball said...

All fair choices.

DDA said...

Keyhoe, Vallée, Hynek, Freidman

Keyhoe: Helped kick off the classic 50's nut and bolts ufology movement. Keyhoe, Hillenkoetter etc. existed in a time from America's past when the words of a ranking military professional were taken more seriously and commanded more respect than a typical citizen. Sadly, in the years since, any benefit of credulity has gone out the window with the likes of jokers like Corso.

Vallée: For his out-of-the-box thinking. Perhaps there is more to this than simply nuts and bolts. A source of clever and fresh ideas, yet largely overshadowed by the huckster cult leaders of today.

Hynek: The iconic face of a "legitimate" man of science who came to believe as he delved deeper over the years. The closet thing to a Carl Sagan that ufology will ever get.

Freidman: The ultimate true-believer evangelist showman. He has somehow manged to avoid being an outright terrible joke, unlike so many others in his niche. He balances that staunch showmanship with just enough sanity to withstand the test of time.

Intentional charlatans like Adamski (or Meier) and Greer have no business being alongside the others in my opinion. While they may have a big influence in the sub culture, I would expect that Ufology's Rushmore would represent the BEST in ufology, not the worst elements of it. Not saying the others don't have their flaws and occasionally questionable behavior, but history has generally regarded them more favorably than many, many others. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt themselves were pretty damn flawed.

Of course a "Rushmore of Ufology Shame and Ridicule".. well I don't think there are enough mountains in the Black Hills to host them all..

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Lonnie Zamora, Capt. Lawrence Coyne, Kenneth Arnold, Betty Hill

Paul Kimball said...


You assume there is a best in "ufology" as a subculture, when there is no such thing. Vallee and Hynek were first and foremost scientists who had an interest in the UFO phenomenon. I don't for a second consider them "ufologists". Keyhoe and Friedman are no different than Greer when you get right down to what they say, and even how they say it.


Alfred Lehmberg said...

James McDonald must certainly be up there, We'll agree to disagree on STF a direct comparison with Greer, in my opinion is as insulting as it is fallacious. Follows a link to a McDonald cameo:

Kandinsky said...

Hiya Paul, the idea/question was first posted on ATS back in March. At the time, I opted for Mike Swords, Jaques Vallee, J Allen Hynek and Jenny Randles. It's not so much that they represent the 'best' or 'most influential' just that they've followed their own paths and coloured some of my own perceptions on the subject. Collectively, they also occupy the more interesting aspects of nuts & bolts, psychology, culture and consciousness.

Another dozen or so follow close behind and you'd be amongst them; that's not flattery, it's just a nod from someone who's shared some similar experiences.