Monday, March 14, 2011

Missing The Point on Missing Time

I enjoy reading the amusing musings of Billy Cox.  His wit, candor and aversion to the platitudinous fawning that characterizes this area of interest are much appreciated by this outsider, though the 'tude wouldn't amount to much without his skillful writing.   Even the name of his blog, De Void, with its sad little tragicomic tag line, The mainstream media's lonely UFO blog, brings relief to my furrowed brow.  

Given the scarcity of humor surrounding the subject matter, De Void readers often confuse his irreverence for contemptuous disregard.  I run into that myself.  Frequently.  Sharing and caring with a largely humorless, thin-skinned demographic can be a challenge.

Cox ruffled a few feathers with his latest, GOING PUBLIC WITH MISSING TIME, in which he gives the Reader's Digest version of The Phoenix Lights and, more specifically, Lynne Kitei's "astonishing claim that she may have documented a missing-time episode with photographs."  Responding to critics of the post, Cox states:
March 12th, 2011 10:21 pm
I’m not disputing the events over Phoenix on 3/13/97. If we accept the reality of UFOs – whatever they are, and we must, if we’re paying attention – then our understanding of physics is obsolete. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s ET or inter-dimensional or Jungian projections or something else. What it means is that anything is possible, literally, the whole table’s in play, everything. But where do those possibilities end? After awhile, it’s like running a faucet over a glass. My storage capacity is finite; I’ve reached a saturation point. Call it a failure of the imagination. [emphasis mine ~Arvin] Perhaps if more researchers were a bit more adventuresome and courageous, they could coax me deeper into the odyssey. I applaud the few who make the effort.
The portion of the comment I emphasized in red italics is exactly what makes personal disclosure exceptionally difficult.  Billy's saturation point, having been reached, precludes processing additional information unless and until he's willing to take a few items out of his strained luggage.  Maybe more than a few items. 

Yes, the whole table is in play.  Everything.

During 1960's and early 70's, Americans trying to balance their distaste for hippies with their own reservations about the Vietnam War police action adopted the axiom "My country, right or wrong."  Updated forty years later - in a much broader context - it's "Consensus Reality, right or wrong."

No researcher, regardless of how adventuresome and courageous, can coax anyone "deeper into the odyssey" without their consent.  UFO researchers - at least, the ones who present themselves as experts and are looked upon as such - do tend to be staid.  If Nick Pope has ever said anything interesting or insightful, it slipped by me.  But his brand sells. Billy Cox and a lot of other people (you, perhaps?) would be better served by becoming their own researchers instead of depending on others to coax them out of what amounts to a self-imposed, and strictly policed, state of ignorance.

Truly amazing things happen when people stop expecting profound insight from vicarious experience and hand-me-down theories, and reject the authoritarian model of Researcher/Subject/Interested Party.

The rigid institutional, social and personal enforcement of fundamentally flawed consensus-based reality paradigms can only have one result: collective retardation and stasis.  Many refer to this as "stability" and they would rather kill and die than part with it.  If you live your life on autopilot, sooner or later, you're going to fly into a mountain.  The human race is flying straight into a mountain.

Let's set aside Lynne Kitei's "astonishing claim that she may have documented a missing-time episode with photographs."

If you - yes, you - captured photographs of UFOs during an unambiguous missing time event, would you step forward with that information - knowing full well the kind of criticism and scrutiny doing so would invite?  How would you present that information? What is gained by stepping into the harsh light and cacophonous din of the pitchfork & torch-wielding ufology mob?  And what is lost by declining to do so?

These are not academic questions for me, and when I pose them to other people, the silence is deafening.


C.J. said...

Doing my own research was what pretty much made me a believer in UFOs.

Arvin Hill said...

Despite having had a couple of sightings, the first as a child and the second many years later as an adult, I didn't become my own researcher until Spring/Summer 2008. It's funny, too, that during the Stephenville event, I never sought out any information about what was going on there. Neither the Stephenville sightings nor ufology (which I didn't even know was a real word at the time) were in anything other than the far edges of my peripheral vision. A few months later, the obsession began [insert pipe organ notes here].

What I find extremely frustrating about dealing with UFOlks, generally, is this: They're more than willing to sit in judgment on other's experiences without putting themselves in anyone's shoes other than their own. And it's very difficult to step outside of one's own experience framework, which is why Billy Cox's "failure of imagination" - a failure he shares with a lot of other people - is exactly that.

At the same time, I'm completely sympathetic. I was very, very skeptical of missing time before it happened to me. That said, my experience was very different from Kitei's, as I discovered mine fewer than twelve hours post-event.

Also, people equate claims of missing time with abduction, in large part because of abduction researchers - few of whom, if any, from what I can tell, are capable of distinguishing Contact from abduction, which, contrary to popular belief, are not synonymous. The failure of ufology researchers, especially those who deal with abduction phenomena, to distinguish between Contact and abduction is significant, and, I believe, has resulted in substantial harm to people with UFO encounters.

I've had to fight to maintain autonomy over my interpretations of my experiences because people are very, very quick to assume and assert I'm an abductee. I'm not an abductee.

I rather doubt I'll ever undergo regressive hypnosis because I'm not confident in the process. It is entirely possible my missing time experience could be attributed to proximity to UFOs, i.e. electromagnetic activity or something of that nature. I have my theories. Mine was not a somatic or dreamscape event. What I do know - with absolute certainty - is ^They were very close that night. But that's about as much as I'm willing to disclose at the moment.

How 'bout you, C.J.? Would you step into the public spotlight if you discovered you were in possession of missing time photographs?

And, by the way, if anyone else reading this would care to answer that question, I'd be genuinely interested in hearing your thoughts.

Mike Clelland! said...

I was at a UFO conference, and i struck up a pleasant conversation with one of the attendees.

He asked, "So, what brings you here?"

I replied honestly, "Well, uhhhm, I'm doing some research."

He asked the logical follow up question, "Oh really, what are you researching?"

Now that question caught me off guard, and I had to think.

After a short pause I replied, "Well, i guess I'm researching myself."


That's the truth, and proceeding forward with a healthy dose of skepticism, and I'm the most skeptical of my own set of experiences. I believe others too quickly, and I doubt myself. But, I proceed forward none the less.

Arvin Hill said...

It's a trapeze act, Mike. I like your response "I'm researching myself."

It can be very difficult to invest in one's own experiences and knowledge with the same weight as we afford others'. But, for those who believe, as I do, in macro and micro dynamics, the more one understands The Self, the more we can understand things which otherwise remain beyond our grasp.

Hazards abound, obviously. There is no one-size-fits-all in terms of philosophy or religion - which are interpretative - but there are universal dynamics governing things like sentience and consciousness.

I try very hard not to be close-minded about others' opinions. It's just that I see great peril in deferring to this or that 'expert's' theories (particularly those which are rooted in anecdotal information in lieu of experiential data). It's a perspective which has evolved from having having so many experiences that sharply contradict commonly held beliefs. To say it puts me at odds with the mob is an understatement.

Arvin Hill said...

P.S. When I say I'm not an abductee, I am not slagging on, or otherwise disparaging, abductees. Nor am I denying my missing time experience involved something more profound than a physical space-time effect. I'm quite sure it did. However, I don't call myself an abductee because my interactions with cosmological intelligences - most of which, to my knowledge, occurred, and still occur, while I am fully conscious - and they have all been voluntary.

Since I'm sleepy and it's 3:15AM CST, I'll refrain from further comment for now. Soon, though. I'm truly having to watch my step for reasons that will soon enough become obvious - not because of any grand conspiracy, but because people are assholes, and as soon as I start discussing the experience, the daggers will come out. That's why it's taken me nearly two years to even get this far.

Anonymous said...


Wonderfully thoughtful writing here! I would offer you an arena full of thunderous applause if I could. I'm looking forward to reading more of your thoughts, experiences, and emotional reactions in the future!

Arvin Hill said...

Such soothing words, lucretiasheart, take the sting out of the vulnerability that accompanies running my mouth in public. Thank you very kindly.

Anonymous said...

A nod to Mike for linking to what is now on my list of favorite blogs, Arvin.

While I've not had experiences like those of Lucretia, Mike or even you probably, I've had enough of other sorts to count myself among you three. It really helps to read what you all say since I'm encouraged to not speak about my own stuff. People are really uptight!

Thanks for braving through, all of you.

Arvin Hill said...

It's easy to lose perspective on the value of publicly disclosing personal enigmatic experience, but, Carol, your thoughtful and gracious comment summarizes it quite nicely.

The words People are really uptight! are surely among the truest ever expressed, Carol. If you ever feel compelled to share any of your own experiences including, but not limited to, those you may be discouraged to speak about elsewhere, I hope you'll feel free to do so here.

Any wayward passers-by playing the thumbs up or thumbs down routine are cordially invited, in advance, to continue on to YouTube, The New York Times or Huffpo where that sort of thing is encouraged.

And I'm truly humbled by the generosity of spirit extended to me by Mike Clelland and Lucretia and you - and everyone who's been stopping lately to take in an essay or two, follow, or just say hello. Thank you all for the engagement.