Sunday, April 24, 2011

Synaptic Sky

Lightning over West Treeline in NE Denton County TX
2011APR23 • 8:43PM

Monday, April 18, 2011

Idle Hands (are not my problem)

Posting has been light because I'm mired in The Mundane performing real work.  You know, the paying variety.  I'd starve to effin' death - and may yet - if all I did was blog.  And just because I tweet every now and again, that doesn't mean it's what I should be doing.  I apologize in advance to anyone whose correspondence might languish in my inbox.

The current project will likely be consuming most of my time for the week of April 18th, which is a total drag because I have a lot of material to share with you - some of which, you might even find marginally interesting.  But them's the breaks. 

In the interim, Mike Clelland of Hidden Experience posted an interesting audio conversation with Phil Imbrogno.  UFOlogists are boring as hell - how many ways can one say We Don't Know - but Imbrogno impresses me as being less dogmatic and more engaging than most, and Mike does a great job on his end.  Give it a listen if you're so inclined.

There is one subject I feel compelled to address.  Phil mentioned it a couple of times in the linked conversation, but it arises almost anytime Contactees are discussed: being chosen or selected

I don't speak for anyone but myself, and, in fact, my communications with other Contactees - or, at least, people who would describe themselves as such (or as experiencers) - has been minimal.  I've never read any books by or about Contactees, and I have yet to attend a UFO conference of any kind, so I have no knowledge about other Contactees who have said they are chosen or selectedThose are terms I avoid like The Plague when describing my experiences.  I believe it is much more accurate to say my Contact experiences are of a reciprocal, as opposed to a unilateral, nature.  Whatever conclusions others may draw - and I am very aware of just how few people reading this understand such a dynamic is possible - those conclusions are theirs, not mineI ain't that special, my friends & adversaries.  If I believed myself to be a prophet or an angel or an ascended master taking a smoke break, you'd be reading this in the premium subscribers section - and I'd be robbing you blind instead of toiling all week on a pain-in-the-ass graphics job.

Later, my curious Taters.  I hope you all have a great week.  We'll catch up soon, okay?

Friday, April 15, 2011

UFOlogy's Dystopian Present

Pauline Wilson of UFOs - Scientific Research, like a lot of other people, is pondering the future of UFOlogy:
After reading a number of new books about the UFO phenomenon recently, I took time out the other day to reflect on what was contained in these works.

Martin Plowman in his book "The UFO Diaries" (click here for my review post) concludes at one point that UFOlogy "'s as far from proving the existence of UFOs as it ever has been." (p.281.)

John B Alexander in his book "UFOs:Myths, conspiracies and realities" (my review is here) wrote (p.273) "I conclude that the ufo observations are manifestations of issues that are anfractuous and beyond current comprehension."

These statements made me wonder, what is the future of UFOlogy? There is little doubt in my mind that the popular cultural version of the UFO phenomenon will continue, and perhaps even grow. However, what of serious research?

Leslie Kean in her book "UFOs" (click here for my review) calls for the establishment of a small "UFO Office" based in a US Government agency. John Alexander doubts the political possibility of this happening.
I'm just enough of an ass to attempt an answer:  The future of UFOlogy depends on inclusive, open source, multidisciplinary cooperative research with an emphasis on real time field investigation.

UFOlogy's stasis is largely attributable to social stratification, ideological factionalism and egoism converging to form an imbalanced, gridlocked environment weighted heavily toward individual competition at the expense of cooperative research.

"Serious" research is not the exclusive domain of academics and institutions.  Were it otherwise, there would be no need for this discussion.

The credentials fetishism so prevalent among UFO aficionados reflects a very narrow awareness of, and appreciation for, the nature and variety of human intelligence.  It creates a significant impediment to developing egalitarian approaches to evidence gathering and analysis which could very well lead to deeper understanding of the phenomenon.  The result is a hierarchical research model - with scientists, politicians and their sycophants at the top of the hierarchy - that has outlived whatever usefulness it may have once served.  UFOlogy's dead end is a consequence of plain old human intransigence.

Societies have long been conditioned to expect government, academia, private enterprise and mass media will provide answers to the most vexing problems facing humanity; yet, most of us carry those expectations without examining the interdependency of these institutional constructs, and so we fail to comprehend the motivations driving them - and us.  One needn't look any further than the conspicuous official silence about radiation entering the food chain in North America because of the Fukushima disaster - or, for that matter, the slow-rolling nightmare of last year's BP/USG slaughter of the Gulf of Mexico - to understand the primary purpose of our most revered institutions is singular:  preserving an exploitative economic system responsible for the plodding ecocide and incalculable misery of myriad life forms, including humans - all, for the grossly disproportionate benefit of a relative few.

Technological advancements are meaningless without corresponding developments in human consciousness.  It is incumbent upon each and every one of us to deliberately push ourselves beyond the dark comfort zones of complacency, cynicism, malice and resignation.  Until we begin to do so, humanity's positive potential will continue withering on the vine.

Everyone has something to contribute. Horror of horrors!  By my estimation, we are not yet close to appreciating this, and our collective and selective myopia is hardly unique to UFOlogy.  Bitching about "fortune tellers" ruining UFO conferences, dismissively harrumphing about people who subscribe to religious and spiritual paradigms, and devising Litmus tests to determine the credibility of people who are simply looking for - and, occasionally, perhaps, finding - pieces of the puzzle does nothing to advance the field, and only serves to illustrate a more formidable and pervasive obstacle: tribalism.

I never said it would be easy.

If UFOlogy - like the human race itself - is to reverse its dying potential, it will be because we learn the value of working together by marshaling the diverse talents, skills and capabilities of all interested parties, and develop insights derived from individual and group experiences which can be synthesized into coherent hypotheses, tested, shared and progressively built upon. 

There are few reasons to be optimistic about UFOlogy's prospects in the coming years.  But I live for surprises, and, very often, being proven wrong is the best surprise of all.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hot Spots & Flaps

Sounds like they could have been lifted straight from the lexicon of veterinary, or perhaps, geriatric, medicine (not that it matters which, as they're both unaffordable).

A hot spot, for anyone who just fell off the turnip truck, refers to a geographical area of increased UFO activity, whereas flap is used to describe the [increased] activity itself. (As far as I can tell, anyway. I've had some Syrah tonight.)

PROPOSITION: Increased reporting of UFO activity does not necessarily reflect actual UFO activity.

People look up for a variety of reasons. Astronomical activity. A sunny day after a week of thunderstorms. A popular film or television program. A break in work routines, such as weekends or holidays. Other people reporting UFO activity.

Some of the more intense periods during which I frequently witnessed UFOs were very often quiet according to MUFON and NUFORC - and it wasn't because I was misidentifying alien craft. (I'm confident I wasn't confusing a 747 with a fireball or rectangular craft with running lights.)

I'm not saying hot spots and flaps don't exist. It stands to reason they probably do. However, the association between reporting and actual UFO activity is waaaay more squishy than is generally recognized.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Depression. Despair. Hopelessness. Lethargy.

I remember these feelings. From the foreboding collapse of the WTC towers. From war! war! war! From Katrina. From BP's toxic slaughter of the Gulf of Mexico. Now radioactivity pouring into air and Pacific ocean, courtesy of Tokyo Electric and the global consortium of nuclear power moguls whose incantations, and those of their agents, have always soothed minds which might otherwise stir from Denial's slumber.

Remember is not the right word, really. I drag these and other events around like a chain of cannonballs welded around my neck.

I'm not blind to the joy, increasingly bittersweet though it is, that remains. I tell myself to savor and, when possible, share what lends itself to sharing.

But some days, my friends. Some days...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Metaphysical Fundamentalism

"People who think the phenomenon is a positive one need a good wake-up call."
  ~Nick Redfern
I have no axe to grind with Nick.  The opinion he expresses is one held by a great many people.  It's also why I'm generally wary of paranormal investigators, and caution experiencers about the potential perils of seeking external validation.

Describing the phenomenon as positive or negative is not my cup o'tea.  What I do know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, is that my experiences have been overwhelmingly positive. Someone else could have basically the same experiences as mine and describe them as negative.

I would humbly suggest "People who think the phenomenon is a negative one" could conceivably benefit by studying this staggeringly complex phenomenon from a different perspective.