High Strangeness: The End of UFOs?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The End of UFOs?

I can't say I really liked Mark Jacobson's UFO article that appeared over the weekend in New York Magazine's "Daily Intelligencer."

While it's great anytime the phenomenon gets coverage in such a prominent publication, it's also fraught with complications... The article claims to be about UFOlogy, and starts out promisingly enough, but I realized in pretty short order that it was simply a report on the MUFON 2014 Symposium, which happened to be held in New Jersey. In other words, the UFO convention was close enough to New York that there would be no travel expenses involved, so why not send a reporter around for an afternoon to see what he could come up with?

So for Jacobson to claim that he was authoritatively summing up the state of modern UFOlogy was quite a stretch...

Not that he didn't make an attempt to do a creditable job. The writer clearly knows a thing or two about the history of UFO phenomenon, and knows enough to question the whole silly "Disclosure" meme that has taken over the field. But it's not hard to see that spending a few hours interviewing random MUFONers might make him think that UFOlogy is a relic of the past. What he didn't seem to get was that UFOlogy is much bigger than MUFON, and there is much more to know about the field than an afternoon in New Jersey will tell you.

Thank God the writer talked with George Knapp. He at least got to see that there's some intelligence in UFOlogy. But he also talked with Steven Bassett, the brainiac behind last year's asinine and embarassing "Citizen Hearing on Disclosure." 

Sorry, but there is a lot more to UFOlogy than just this...
And now, in the eyes of the New York Magazine's readers, those are the voices of modern UFOlogy. The only voices.

Interestingly, the reporter pointedly emphasized the ages of everyone involved, to drive home the point that UFOlogy is essentially running on Geritol fumes. (Had Stanton Friedman been in attendance, the reporter would undoubtedly have included him in the discussion, but I don't see how that would have improved things -- to the reporter, it just would have meant more old material from another old guy).

Someday, maybe, there will be a write-up about UFOs and UFOlogists in a mainstream publication that portrays us as intelligent, thoughtful people who aren't all pushing 90 and who don't necessarily gather at UFO conventions, but are driven by a genuine need to understand a phenomenon that science has yet to come to terms with.

Someday, maybe.

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