High Strangeness: UFO SKEPTIC

Saturday, June 17, 2017


This is big news:

Reporter Alejandro Rojas of UFO website OpenMinds.tv has asked to interview me next week, which I am happy to do...

... except for the fact that he has now labelled me a SKEPTIC on Facebook. I swear to God, if UFO folks couldn't slap stupid labels on people they wouldn't know what to do with themselves.

Yes, it's true! There are some UFO stories that I DO believe, and some that I DON'T believe!
A skeptic? Really? Makes me wonder if he has even read my book. Yes, I don't bow to conventional wisdom in certain instances, like the Dexter-Hillsdale "swamp gas" sightings or the Travis Walton abduction case, but guess what? My treatment of those cases -- and every case in my book -- is founded on what Dr. J. Allen Hynek had to say (or write) about them, often at or soon after the time they occurred.

This is a distinction that I think Mr. Rojas is having trouble with. If I quote skeptical comments made by Dr. Hynek -- or by anyone else for that matter -- he seems to think that makes me a skeptic. That kind of attitude represents exactly what is wrong with "UFOlogy."

Here's what I AM: I am a UFO researcher who uses his critical faculties, and who has working filters. I believe a lot of things, but I don't believe everything. And, guess what? Hynek was the same way.

Oh well. I found out the other day that Rolling Stone is doing a write-up on my book, and their writer will be interviewing me on Monday. I'll be sure to be extra-extra-skepticky in that interview. Also when I talk on Coast to Coast AM tomorrow night at midnight Central time.


Dave said...

Alejandro who?

Bill Pilgrim said...

Greetings Mark & the High Strangeness commentariat,

Being new to this blog and its stable of commenters, I don't wish to bulldoze my opinions into the discussions like a proselytizer knocking on your door at dinner time.

I've been a UFO phenomenon researcher & compiler for many years, not just an enthusiast who pays attention to information that comports with my biases.

Any comments I make here are in the interests of Unity...rather than competition. At the same time - based upon information that I have uncovered and has come my way - I will call out what I think is disinformation or pure materialistic blindness. But then, that's a matter of perceptive awareness and perspective...no?

Mark...I think Rojas is an honest and sincere researcher.
Where we all diverge is at levels of experience and sociological conditioning.

If I might humbly offer advice: stick to your perspective, but at the same time emphasize repeatedly that we are walking parallel paths to answer the same questions.
Unity in Diversity. Diversity in Unity.
The breakthroughs will come when we can put aside theoretical (and egotistical) clashes and focus on the priorities.
In an oddly ironic way, the divisions within the UFO research community mirror the divisions now prevalent in society as a whole. Now THAT is something worth pondering.

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Thank you both for your comments!

The Professor said...

Hi, Mark. Mike Swords here. I'm writing just to say that I think that you'll be wowed when Will Matthews finishes his book on the Dexter/Hillsdale case(s), and might well decide that they constitute a far better anomaly than we used to think.

Also, seriously consider coming to Kzoo this September; Will will be there and you could re-touch base on that whole affair.

Alejandro T. Rojas said...

Hey Mark, it is Alejandro. I did not mean to offend you, but I think being called a skeptic is a compliment. I feel we can not let people hijack our language. UFO does not mean alien spacecraft, and skeptic does not mean someone who is set on believing every UFO is something mundane that has been misidentified. You write in the caption of the photo of this post "There are some UFO stories that I DO believe, and some that I DON'T believe!" To me, that is someone who is skeptical. You examine the strength of a case before making a determination. This is something I commend. I think it is dangerous for us to let people label skepticism, or debunking for that matter, as a negative thing. It is what is needed when one investigates. Hynek himself is often referred to as a skeptic. So I mean it as a compliment, and from viewing the notes from others in the forum I wrote that in, they largely agree.

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Thanks for clarifying, Alejandro! The word "Skeptic" carries with it certain negative connotations, as you know. I consider myself an open-minded critical thinker with active filters :) There's a lot of UFO lore that I believe, and a lot that I don't believe.

Bill Pilgrim said...

@Mark, @Alejandro,

Speaking of words...on the opposite side of the coin I have a similar gag-reflex to "believe" and "believer." They now have a quasi-religious connotation that I find shallow and ill-conceived.
"True believers" is now one of the preferred hackneyed terms lazy and ill-informed reporters invariably sprinkle throughout their pieces.
If I am asked: "Do you believe in UFOs?" I always answer: I reject the question. If you are asking whether I accept the possibility extraterrestrial beings have been visiting this planet in crafts demonstrating technologies far in advance of ours....I will answer: based on my assessment of evidence that's been amassed for decades...YES.
Then I get down on my knees and pray to the etherial beings from the Chronosynclastic Infundibulum... (joke)

purrlgurrl said...

What's unfortunate is that in Ufology the word "skeptic" has become an insult used to denigrate the opinions of someone who doesn't accept outrageous claims at face value, wants to see supporting evidence, and also considers alternative explanations.

But, for some of us in the UFO community "skeptic" isn't a pejorative term. It simply describes someone who appropriately questions unsubstantiated allegations and engages in critical thinking.