Tag Archives: nick redfern

Is Ufology a Religion?

I am not the first to ask this and certainly not the last. In fact over at Micah Hank’s Mysterious Universe blog, researcher and author Nick Redfern asks the very same question and entertains some very interesting thoughts:

A few days ago, I wrote a Top 10-themed post at my World of Whatever blog on what I personally see as some of the biggest faults of Ufology. It was a post with which many agreed, others found amusing, and some hated (the latter, probably, because they recognized dubious character traits and flaws that were too close to home, and, as a result, got all moody and defensive. Whatever.). But, regardless of what people thought of the article, it prompted one emailer to ask me: “What do you think of the future for Ufology?” Well, that’s a very good question. Here’s my thoughts…

First and foremost, I don’t fear, worry or care about Ufology not existing in – let’s say, hypothetically – 100 years from now. Or even 200 years. In some format, I think that as a movement, it will still exist. I guess my biggest concern is that nothing will have changed by then, aside from the field having become even more dinosaur-like and stuck in its ways than it is today, still filled with influential souls who loudly demand we adhere to the Extra-Terrestrial Hypothesis and nothing else, still droning on about Roswell, still obsessed with what might be going on at Area 51, still debating on what Kenneth Arnold saw, and still pondering on what really happened at Rendlesham.

Ufology’s biggest problem also happens to be what made the Ramones the greatest band that ever existed: never-changing. For the latter, it worked perfectly. If, like me, you liked the mop-topped, super-fast punks in the beginning, then you still like them when they disbanded in 1996. Throughout their career, they looked the same, sounded the same, and were the same. For them, it worked very well. For Ufology, not so well. Not at all.

The reality is that 65 years after our Holy Lord and Master (Sir Kenneth of Arnoldshire) saw whatever it was that he saw on that fateful June 24, 1947 day, Ufology has been static and unchanging. It has endorsed and firmly embraced the ETH not as the belief-system which it actually is, but as a likely fact. And Ufology insists on doing so in stubborn, mule-like fashion. In that sense, Ufology has become a religion. And organized religion is all about upholding unproved old belief-systems and presenting them as hard fact, despite deep, ongoing changes in society, trends and culture. Just like Ufology.

If Ufology is to play a meaningful role in the future, then it needs to focus far less on personal beliefs and wanting UFOs to be extraterrestrial, and far more on admitting that the ETH is just one theory of many – and, while not discarding the ETH, at least moving onwards, upwards and outwards. Can you imagine if the major UFO conference of the year in the United States had a group of speakers where the presentations were on alien-abductions and DMT; the Aleister Crowley-Lam controversy; Ufological synchronicities; and the UFO-occult connection? And Roswell, Area 51, and Flying Triangles weren’t even in sight at all?

Well, imagine is just about all you’ll be able to do, as it ain’t gonna happen anytime soon!

While such matters do, of course, occasionally get mentioned on the UFO-themed lecture circuit today, the fact is that mainstream Ufology (and specifically mainstream ufological organizations, where more time is spent on deciding what utterly ridiculous title everyone will have than on doing investigations) will largely not touch such matters, or even consider them ripe for debate at their conferences. Why? Simple: they want everything to be as it was in the “Good Old Days” of the past. Well, tough: the past is gone, and no-one has succeeded in proving the ETH. So, give the highly alternative theories – and theorists – a chance for a change.

“Nooooo!” cries the old brigade. For them, that won’t work at all, because they don’t want to see the ETH-themed domain that has been so carefully nurtured for decades infected and infiltrated by matters ignorantly perceived as being of a “Hocus Pocus” nature. What they do want is crashed UFOs; aliens taking soil samples; landing traces; abductions undertaken to steal our DNA, etc, etc, blah, blah. Or, as it is scientifically and technically called: Outdated Old School Shit. They don’t want talk of altered states; mind-expanding and entity-invoking drugs; conjured-up beings from other realms; or rites, rituals and manifested Tulpas.

What this stubborn attitude demonstrates is: (A) a fear of change; (B) a fear of having been on the wrong track for decades; and (C) a fear of the unknown. Yes: mainstream, old-time Ufology lives in fear. It should be living in a state of strength. And it should be a strength born of a willingness to address everything, not just the stuff that some conference organizer thinks will attract the biggest audience. But Ufology commits the biggest crime of all: being weak and unsure in the face of new concepts and making like an ostrich when it encounters sand. Actually, I’m wrong. Ufology commits an even bigger crime as it coasts aimlessly along like an empty ship on the ocean waves: it avoids the alternative theories knowingly and fully aware of the long-term, and potentially disastrous, consequences that a one-sided, biased approach may very well provoke for the field.

If Ufology is to move ahead,  find answers, and actually have some meaningful future, it needs to totally do away with belief systems and recognize that every belief is just a theory, an hypothesis, an idea. And that’s all. Ufologists need to embrace alternative ideas and paradigms, since many suggest far easier, and more successful, ways of understanding the various phenomena that comprise the UFO enigma than endlessly studying radar-blips, gun-camera footage, FOIA documentation, and blurry photos.

Should Ufology fail to seize the growing challenge it already faces, then will it die or fade away? Nope, it will still be here and here, popping up now and again. Not unlike a nasty, itchy rash picked up in the “private room” at the local strip-joint on a Friday night that never quite goes away. Probably even 100 or 200 years from now. But, it will be a Ufological Tyrannosaurus Rex: its sell-by date long gone, clinging on to an era also long gone, and perceived by the public of that era as we, today, perceive those nutcases who hold on to centuries-old beliefs that if you sail far enough you’ll fall off the edge of the planet. Or, the deluded souls who think the women on those terrible “Reality TV” shows that sit around arguing over lunch are really arguing.

I agree with some of Nick’s talking points in that UFO conventions often feature speakers who often talk of the “space brothers” and how they will save us and the Earth in spite  of ourselves.

That is just the money making crap and smacks of televangelism.

Paranormal events versus technical reasons for UFOs is the wrong tact however. I think there is a way to join the two, but would be very hard to test using the scientific method.

Maybe there is a way to test paranormal events in the future? I do believe a scientist has tried to do so, but it is proving very hard to confirm by testability.

Perhaps that is why new paradigms are difficult to break through. The old ones must pass away slowly into that sweet night?

The Future of Ufology

The future of ufology. ( The Daily Grail )

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When UFO Aliens are not Alien, Part 2

To continue with Micah Hanks’ presentation of Nick Redfern’s Saucers of Manipulation as Nick speaks of the late Mac Tonnies last book The Cryptoterrestrials.

In short, the treatise of the book is that UFOs and their “aliens” are not necessarily alien. They could be in fact a very ancient race of the first intelligent beings of this world, perhaps a branch of the dinosaur family, or closely related to the human race.

In Part-1 of my Saucers of Manipulation article, I noted: “The late Mac Tonnies – author of The Cryptoterrestrials and After the Martian Apocalypse – once said: ‘I find it most interesting that so many descriptions of ostensible aliens seem to reflect staged events designed to misdirect witnesses and muddle their perceptions.’ Mac was not wrong. In fact, he was right on target. One can take even the most cursory glance at ufological history and see clear signs where events of a presumed alien and UFO nature have been carefully controlled, managed and manipulated by the intelligence behind the phenomenon.”

And, I further added: “But, why would such entities – or whatever the real nature of the phenomenon may be – wish to make themselves known to us in such curious, carefully-managed fashion? Maybe it’s to try and convince us they have origins of the ET variety, when they are actually…something very different…”

So, if “they” aren’t alien, after all, then what might “they” be? And if the non-ET scenario has validity, why the desire to manipulate us and convince us of the extraterrestrial angle? Let’s take a look at a few possibilities.

Now, before people get their blood-pressure all out of control, I am the first to admit that what follows amounts to theories on the part of those that have addressed them. The fact is that when it comes to fully understanding the origin of the UFO phenomenon…well…there aren’t any facts! What we do have are ideas, theories, suggestions and beliefs. Anyone who tells you otherwise is 100 percent wrong, mistaken, deluded or lying. No-one in Ufology – ever – has offered undeniable 100 percent proof that any theory is correct beyond all doubt. And provided we understand that theorizing, postulating and suggesting do not (and cannot) equate to proving, then there’s no problem. So, with that said, read on.

Let’s first go back to Mac Tonnies and his cryptoterrestrials. Regardless of whether or not Mac was onto something with his theory that UFOs might originate with a very ancient, impoverished race that lives alongside us in stealth – and that masquerades as extraterrestrial to camouflage its real origins – at least he admitted it was just a theory. He didn’t scream in shrill tones that he was definitely correct. And he didn’t suggest that if you disagreed with him you needed to be ejected from the ufological play-pen. So many within that same play-pen – for whom, for some baffling reason, shouting louder somehow means: “I’m closer to the truth than you!” – could learn a lesson or several from Mac.

Rather than originating on far-off worlds, Tonnies carefully theorized, the cryptoterrestrials may actually be a very old and advanced terrestrial body of people, closely related to the Human Race, who have lived alongside us in secret – possibly deep underground – for countless millennia. In addition, Mac suggested that (a) today, their numbers may well be waning; (b) their science may not be too far ahead of our own – although they would dearly like us to believe they are our infinitely-advanced, technological-masters; (c) to move amongst us, and to operate in our society, they ingeniously pass themselves off as aliens; and (d) they are deeply worried by our hostile ways – hence the reason why they are always so keen to warn us of the perils of nuclear destruction and environmental collapse: they are grudgingly forced to share the planet with us, albeit in a distinctly stealthy and stage-managed fashion.

Moving on from beings of the past to entities of the future, Joshua P. Warren, investigator and author of numerous things of a paranormal nature, has addressed the highly controversial angle that the UFOnauts are our future selves: Time Travelers. And, in doing so, Josh has focused deeply on the mysterious matter of the macabre Men in Black.

Josh asks of their odd attire: “Why do the MIB dress like this? Why do we call them the Men in Black? Well, if a man puts on a black suit, with a black hat and walks down the street in 1910, and you see that man, you would probably notice him. But, would you think there was anything too extraordinary, or too out-of-place about him? No: you probably would not. And if you saw a man walking down the street in 2010 wearing a black suit and a black hat, would you notice him? Probably, yes. But, would you think you think there was necessarily anything too extraordinary? No.”

What this demonstrates, says Warren, is that the outfit of the black suit and the black hat is flexible enough to work within the social context of the culture of at least a century or more. And so, therefore, if you are someone who is in the time-travel business – and within the course of your workday, you’re going to go to 1910 to take care of some business, and then a couple of hours later you’re going to be in 1985, and then a few hours after that you’ll be heading to 2003 – you don’t want to be in a position of having to change your clothes three times. So, what do you do? In Warren’s hypothesis, you dress in an outfit that is going to allow you access to the longest period of time within which that same outfit may not draw too much unwelcome attention.

“And that’s why,” suggests Warren “in and around the whole 20th Century, it just so happens that the black suit and the black hat will work for them.”

And, if you don’t want to give away who you really are, encouraging the idea that you are extraterrestrial, goblin-like or supernatural – rather than future-terrestrial – would make a great deal of sense. If, of course, the theory has merit!

Then there is probably the most controversial angle of all: UFOs are from Hell…

Again UFOs are angels and demons meme ala the Collins Elite is presented because of the seeming paranormal behavior of the phenomenon.

But I am reminded of the old Arthur C. Clarke saw that a sufficiently advanced technology of an ancient race is indistinguishable from magic ( I’m paraphrasing here ), so the supernatural theory is not a very convincing argument to me.

The battle of the UFOs and their accompanying aliens rage on.

Saucers of Manipulation Pt. 2

Again hat tips to The Anomalist and the Mysterious Universe.