Monday, May 9, 2011

Upon Further Consideration:

Dear Reader: I'm discovering sharing my experiences with UFOs and their associated intelligences, at least, in a blogging format, is not my cup of tea.  It virtually guarantees a poor return on the investment.

Because relatively little is known about the UFO enigma, it provides the perfect stage for people to project their hopes and fears, busk for money and bask in the dim glow of their artificially inflated, vastly overrated brains.  The fears, by far, dominate.  As much as I love a good fright and the good fight, I will not feed or babysit the monsters, real or imagined, under anyone's beds. Contending with a world of human monsters, though none refer to themselves as such, is enough of a challenge. 

Let me be clear: I am not angry or upset. Disappointed, sure, but I realized from the outset there was a 95% chance it would end before it started. The overwhelming majority of persons interested in UFOs - regardless of educational levels, occupations and personality types - are no more willing than people who have zero interest in UFOs to entertain possibilities which might potentially destabilize their rigid belief systems. This is human nature. As I've previously noted, adapting to a new model of reality - one far less defined and far more wonderful, whatever its inherent challenges (and it is not devoid of heartbreak, I can assure you) - required nearly two years of painful soul-searching, a ridiculous number of unique contact experiences, and the support of my loving, begrudgingly open-minded wife of twenty-eight years.

With the rarest of exceptions, ufology's adherents consign people with positive contact experiences to the Space Brothers Cult Bin, or, when that label won't quite fit, blithely apply some vaguely implied psychological disorder and/or intelligence deficit to anyone who refuses to go into the box. I am strongly convinced the great majority of harm many people claim to experience as a result of the UFO phenomenon is inflicted by the staunchest guardians of the most enduring cult of all, Consensus Reality. You know who you are. Well, some of you do, even if you would never publicly admit it.

There exists a vanguard of the online UFO arena whose primary interest is to hold hands, stroke each other and drown out anyone whose experiences and interpretations deviate from its trenched-and-gassed razor wire boundaries. Not that they're all on the same page, but the book only has three or four pages.  By all appearances, very few of them have any direct experience with, much less appreciation of, cosmological intelligence(s). Dialogue is the furthest thing from their tiny, calcified, kidney stone minds. The irony is they see and portray themselves, and, sadly, are seen by the public as, intellectual powerhouses of critical thought despite behaving as courtesans, student council douche bags, celebrity whore mongers and nationalist fuckwits. They are, on the whole, a gutless gang of psychic vampires who sustain themselves on (a.) vicarious experience copped from people they revile and (b.) public theater.

While it is possible I could have a change of heart, however modest, that might conceivably result in a resumption of activities here at some undefined point in the future, from where I am standing today, it is unlikely. Until such a time may come, if it does, I leave this aspect of the online UFO experience exactly as I found it: firmly seized in the arthritic hands of the authorities, and to those who have yet to discover that's exactly what it is. 

To the dozen or so people who have shown some love, expressed genuine curiosity and, in essence, embody the truest and most admirable part of the human spirit, I appreciate your forbearance and acceptance.

I wish you all the best.

P.S.  I've deactived the comment function to avoid the spam influx common to dormant blogs.  Also, if I've been following your blog publicly through Google Friend Connect, please don't take it personally that I no longer am.  Since I won't be logging into and don't use Google Reader, I'm migrating to RSS feeds.  

Friday, May 6, 2011

Go Nuts! Go Bolts! Go Plasma!

Go Team!  Yaaaaay!

Nuts & Bolts vs. Not Nuts & Bolts. It's one of ufology's more pernicious black holes.  An endless debate hatched and mired in an impossible tangle of specious claptrap.

I've seen UFOs which were neither hallucinations nor holograms nor fancy DOD doodads; ones that, had they landed in my backyard, I am firmly convinced could be touched. And, who knows, perhaps, with enough headroom, even boarded. The most impressive material vehicle from - well, not here (dimension, planet, WTFever) was a black rectangle.  If I wasn't getting pummeled by work to the point of sleep deprivation, I'd tell you all about it, as I got a very good look at it.  "So," says the self-assured smart ass,  "Did it have nuts and bolts?"  No, Einstein, I didn't see any.

Incidentally, I'm ridiculously fond of fasteners.  If I ever reach a comfort level with personal disclosures, perhaps I'll share my official USAF portrait, probably on a day when I'm afflicted with terrible judgment.  Yes, long ago and far away, I was an aircraft mechanic - a good one, actually, and an obviously poor fit for the military.  What can I say.  I was young and unemployed and, quite literally, hungry.  Sorry, I have no exotic super-secret! tales from those days; only slightly provocative ones I rarely discuss.   But if our roles were switched, oh, thoughtful and curious reader, I would like to know if you ever worked the flight line.  Not that it means anything, really, since we all live, at least, in this incarnation, within a material dimension - though, in my opinion, not exclusively.

Does your silverware have nuts & bolts?  Does your favorite coffee cup have nuts & bolts?  No?  Well, then, I can only assume you eat your spaghetti and drink your coffee from (a.) figments of your imagination, (b.) intangible objects from The Spirit World, or (c.) material constructs manufactured by your all-powerful psyche.  Well done, magi.

I've also seen UFOs which are commonly associated with plasmatic energy, i.e. orbs.  For me, these have been the more ubiquitous variety.  They're intelligent, you know.  I didn't see any nuts & bolts on those, either.

And, finally, like others with sightings too numerous to detail (most of whom having the good sense to smile and nod and refrain from talking about it), I've seen UFOs which, typically, because of their light intensity, may have been plasmatic or material or some combination of the two, yet were not ambiguous insofar as being confused with terrestrial vehicles of conventional or unconventional design.  (Please.  Let's not play gotcha! with semantics.  I have no intention of writing a fucking paragraph of disclaimers and explanations every time I use UFO in this blog.  This ain't YouTube or The New York Times. You're welcome.)

You can surmise where I'm going with this, yeah?

If you happen to be on one side or the other collecting scalps, and maybe even losing a bit of your own, have you ever stopped to consider it isn't a game worth playing?  When it comes to UFOs, clinging to mutually exclusive concepts is unlikely to serve you well, unless your objective is to start off with a half-deck.  This phenomenon punishes arrogance, and, rightfully so.  It's kicked my ass more than once.  If it hasn't kicked yours yet, just keep on truckin' with your li'l lunchbox of absolutes and make sure to give me a call when you get a bit further down the meandering road. I promise not to be cruel about it.

And, now, if you'll excuse me, I have some unpaid work to do in the material constructs I call my home and landscape.

May your weekend be fabulous.  I'll be listening to PJ Harvey's "Let England Shake" for at least the next few days.  Every time she releases something new, the acquisition is like my first bottle of Laphroiag.  Cheers!


Monday, May 2, 2011

The Path Less Traveled

what others want to know
i cannot tell them
what i can tell them
they do not want to know

Such is the nature of The Enigma.

To say I have persistent reservations about engaging the public - sight unseen, as it were - is an understatement. It's very tiresome, all of it. Now, if I wanted to play a role - guru, victim, intrepid reporter, spooky storyteller, chin-scratching intellectual - maybe it would be a different story. But as little old me? Can it ever really be worth it? For the person who thrives on public attention, and/or those who can wrangle a profit from it, maybe. But the answer - for the malcontent, the spoiler, the what the fuck are you lookin' at outsider - is a resounding "You have got to be fucking kidding me."

As the years pass, I become more comfortable with being myself. Less inclined to tell others what they wish to hear (not that I was ever any good at it), yet also increasingly disinclined to confront them with their avoidances and aversions. This means, despite having more to say, I say it less often and to fewer and fewer people. By this point, I'm almost surprised I'm not living in a small commune hidden in the mountains; the wandering, half-starved stranger taken in by begrudging monks. If those monks were ufology types, I shudder to think of my fate.

Last week, I ran across this post by Paul Kimball, the brainy documentarian behind Best Evidence: Top 10 UFO Sightings and his current project, Beyond Best Evidence: The UFO Enigma. Kimball states:
Anyone who travels along the "road" of the UFO phenomenon will sooner or later reach a fork, where they they will be faced with two choices.

The first is to follow the path of old information simply represented in a new way. George Adamski becomes Steven Greer, Aztec becomes Roswell, and Donald Keyhoe's conspiracy theories about the USAF become Stan Friedman's "Cosmic Watergate".

This is the easier path to choose, because you know where it will lead. You can follow it on a map. Comfortable and well-marked out, it winds its way to a small village inhabited by fellow travellers, kind of like a hobbit town from Lord of the Rings, with whom you can sit down, share a good meal, and tell some stories to each other. It's familiar, and has the siren call of certainty.

This path is all about finding a place to settle.

I'll let you in on a not-so-little secret: I don't know beans about Adamski or Aztec or Keyhoe, and what I know about Greer, Roswell and Friedman might, with enough injected air, fill a modestly sized cracker box. Sure, I know the plot points, but insofar as real study, I don't care. Now, I'm not saying these people and events are unworthy of study; only that I waste enough time on inconsequential bullshit, I'm hesitant to criticize others who may be doing the same. I am ambivalent about most subjects UFO aficionados take pleasure in dissecting - and quibbling over - ad nauseum. The degree of intellectual wankery, rank elitism, ingratiating smarm and relentless chest-beating - particularly by people who, by all appearances, show no sign of ever having even noticed the sky - is something I find very hard to stomach. Consider it a character flaw. It's a big rock in my shoe, and no matter how many times I stop and remove it, another one takes its place before I can finish tying my laces.

I say this only because there exists a widespread, if largely unspoken, assumption anyone who might self-identify as a contactee actually gives a shit about (a.) the personalities and events UFO types obsess over, and (b.) the myopic obsessives who focus on the celebrated personalities and events comprising the fatty tissue of the UFO enigma - they whose thumbs are uncorked from their their asses only for the purpose of signaling up or down on the validity of other people's experiences. It's a mistaken assumption.

But that's just me. Swaying the deniers, a group to which I have never belonged, has never been a personal priority or pastime, but I'm glad there are others who feel compelled to do so.  To the extent being honest about my experiences pierces static (and statist) belief systems which deny  cosmological intelligence(s) - and it has for a few people with whom I am personally acquainted - yay. If not, it takes nothing away from the experiences themselves, as they are mine and will forever remain so.

I don't know if the specifics of Paul Kimball's analogies are true, but the larger point stands with monolithic clarity: There is a finite amount of knowledge to be drawn from historical - and vicarious - analyses. And while such knowledge is likely far from exhausted, it is nonetheless limited in scope, as history, by definition - at least, as we process it - tends to be.

Kimball continues:
The second path is more difficult. It requires you to take a leap into the unknown, to embrace uncertainty, and seek out new information and new ideas. There is no map, no familiarity, and no promise of a comfortable resting place at the end of the road. But there is the possibility of so much more.

This path is all about a journey.

And therein lies the difference, because only by undertaking that journey can one ever really hope to arrive at the destination of true discovery.
I quite agree. The first path, if it can be said to be a path at all, is a tight circle; one where the masses gather and chatter. The second path - the one all about a journey - is an inner one propelled by a combination of objective and subjective experiences.

My response:
"The second path is more difficult. It requires you to take a leap into the unknown, to embrace uncertainty, and seek out new information and new ideas."
What is your plan for traversing this path? And, once undertaken, what constitutes success or progress?

These aren't rhetorical questions. I'm genuinely curious.

Ufology's freak show obsession with cults, including the all-consuming preoccupation with contemporary cults of personality, i.e. celebrity - whether it's Greer or Kaku or Vallée - in my meaningless opinion, accounts for a large degree of its willful retardation. Should you develop and share any insights derived as a result of direct experience (the latter being considerably more difficult than the former; neither being easy), the UFO Intelligentsia - an oxymoron if ever there was one - will reflexively file them in whatever dilapidated boxes comprise the prevailing paradigm, (or, perhaps, more accurately, non-paradigm). That's their role, and, if it isn't singular, it's damn close: rendering judgment on other people's experiences and interpretations. These are the folks who burned Bruno at the stake.

If achieving some degree of personal understanding is your primary objective, expect wonder, awe, experiences that don't translate well (or at all), and a fresh appreciation of the limitations of language.

If, on the other hand, achieving consensus is your bag, you're in for an extremely rude awakening.

And if your quest is 50/50, that falls under the rubric of "having one's cake and eating it, too." Bon appétit!

In any case - and with all sincerity - good luck in your mission. May your experiences be many and profound.
I was, and remain, curious about how Mr. Kimball envisions this second path. Maybe he doesn't, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. I can only guess since he hasn't responded.

My curiosity stems, in large part, from an awareness that, while The Enigma is transpersonal, at least some of its manifestations present themselves in an intensely personal fashion. This is the contrivance aspect of The Engima, which I believe is The Trickster element found throughout human history in numerous cultures, and is often associated with UFO experiences even today. Expectations may or may not effect (yes, effect with an e) experience, but the color of experience is influenced by personal expectation.

That's why I asked those two questions, and I present them here to you, whomever you are. It is a question worth considering, and answering, if at all possible, should you consider pursuing The Second Path.  Or, if, like me, you are on it now.