High Strangeness: UFO Anger

Monday, June 23, 2014

UFO Anger

Who gets a seat at the table? In UFO world, pretty much anybody.

That's what I've been grappling with the past few days as the negative comments have rolled in concerning my interview with Dr. David Jacobs. Okay, grappling is too strong a word; the issue randomly popped into my conscious mind once or twice over the weekend. And there've only been three negative comments, so I can't exactly say they've been rolling in. And they've been thoughtful comments as well, so it's a reach to even call them negative.

Still, those three commenters have made their feelings about Dr. Jacobs very clear, and their criticisms have given me cause to ponder a few things...

When I started this UFO gig three years ago I made a conscious decision to steer clear of the controversies that plague the UFO community. I would not get involved in turf wars, or pissing contests, or character assassinations, because it was abundantly clear that there was already waaay too much of that out there. But, guess what? It ain't as easy as I thought it would be. There are so many controversies and scandals and rumors and feuds that it's pretty damn hard to talk about anyone or anything in UFO world without ticking off someone.

Screw you, sadistic alien. From now on we're going to be friends!
And guess what else? UFO people thrive on this shit! They eat it up, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The hunger for divisiveness is immense, and I have been shocked to discover over the past three years that there is no shortage of material to feed the hunger. The whole thing reminds me of the classic Star Trek episode "Day of the Dove," in which the crew of the Enterprise are trapped together with a Klingon crew and forced by a sadistic alien to fight to the death -- with daggers, not phasers -- for all eternity, for no reason... Because the alien eats their hatred! The more the two crews fight, the more anger they generate, and the more powerful the alien becomes. It isn't until Captain Kirk convinces the Klingon captain to lay down his arms and embrace him that the sadistic alien realizes it's fucked and leaves the Federation crew and Klingons to work their shit out. Could there be a sadistic alien presence driving UFO people to constantly squabble and spat? I wonder...

Then there's the problem I mentioned in my original post: look over the speakers' rosters for the two big upcoming UFO conferences, Contact in the Desert and the 2014 MUFON Symposium, and explain to me what metric the organizers are using in selecting speakers. Of course, the speakers need to be provocative, and they need to sell tickets, and... well, that's it, apparently. I look over the speakers roster for Contact and see people I truly admire and respect, like John Anthony West, who actually has, you know, geological evidence to back up his theories about the true age of the Sphinx, alongside people like the unfortunately-named "Dr. Dream" and the other Doctor who is still talking about everyone's favorite pint-sized mummified corpse which proves nothing, the beloved Atacama Humanoid. Then I look over the speakers' roster for the MUFON Symposium and see Mr. Integrity himself, Lee Speigel of Huffington Post, on the same list as the guy who put on the asinine and ineffectual "Citizen Hearing on Disclosure" last year. And the funny, tragic, and ultimately humbling thing is that a whole lot of people would fervently believe that I got the Goofuses and Gallants completely ass-backward...

So, am I raising valid points or am I rationalizing? Because of the divisiveness and rancor that seems to come so naturally to UFO world, we each just have to make up our own minds how much bullshit we're willing to put up with, and from whom. I guess by reading this, you're deciding that you're willing to put up with my bullshit, and I thank you for that.

In the end, I think there's something to my idea that a sadistic alien is driving UFO people to fight each other with daggers for all eternity. What other explanation makes sense?


Terry the Censor said...

I think this shows that the fandom doesn't want credible researchers who are willing to be straight on the facts and point out the bunk.

Kevin Randle joked about this a couple of years ago: after exposing several witnesses who initially fooled him and other researchers, he needed to develop new material so he could get invited back to conferences!

Terry the Censor said...

Digging through my files, I found these two letters excerpted in Jim Moseley's Saucer Smear newsletter, formerly online but, alas, no longer:

Volume 47, No. 10, December 1st, 2000

Parapsychologist GEORGE HANSEN writes:

"Question: How do you know if you are at a high-class UFO conference?
"Answer: There are no known pedophiles on the program.

[Kevin Randle responds to Hansen:]

Volume 48, No. 1, January 10, 2001

"Would that it were so. The correct answer, however, is: 'There are convicted pedophiles on the program, along with convicted car thieves, convicted con-men, admitted liars, and a few who just misrepresent their academic, educational, military, and occupational accomplishments.' And that doesn't even include ex-priests, psychologists who have been stripped of their licenses (in one case for implanting his own belief structures on his clients), ex-military enlisted men who claim that they were really officers, and one man who received his Ph.D. from the Los Angeles Press Club' And then we wonder why no one listens to us!"