Wednesday, October 17, 2012

BELL's, BOOKS, and CANDLES


The blog has been MIA for over three weeks [a long stretch for me], but with the burnout at the end of each Wheeling "session", the transition to Kalamazoo, and hosting seven UFO knuckleheads all last weekend, I'm not too apologetic. The blast effect of having those guys over has lessened [the kitchen sink is still a mess], and I'll try to start up a bit with the "meeting" as a beginning. If you recognize Kalamazoo's famous Bell's Beer in the photo above, you are not only a beer connoisseur but are having intuitions that certain UFOlogists can be bribed to be more congenial and talkative by the effects of good tasting alcoholic beverages.



The "illuminati" in secret discussion: Closest to camera = Will Matthews, my local UFO friend; going around the table then: Robert Powell [book project administrator and MUFON Director of research], Richard Thieme [ former MUFON and CUFOS associate and world traveling lecturer on subjects too esoteric to mention], Jan Aldrich [Mr. Sergeant Major of FOIAs], Don Schmitt [The only person who knows more about Roswell than the government], Jerry Clark [Of Whom there is no Whomer], and The Maestro of Abductions Scholarship, the esteemed Dr. Eddie Bullard. Note that no beer is on the table at the moment, so they were still making some sort of sense.

Kidding aside, the weekend was an intellectual and anomalistic blast.

Because it was at least interesting to me, I'll say a little about what we discussed in our saner moments.

Abductions: I was surprised [even as well as I know these guys] that not one of them was buying the hypothesis of a colossal numbers of abductions taking, or taken, place. Not even Eddie. Not even Jerry nor I, who considered Budd Hopkins a very good colleague and friend, and have felt similarly about Dave Jacobs. Everybody around the table considered the infamous Roper poll to be a piece of garbage as far as indicating anything about abductions is concerned, although it MIGHT be indicating "something" about "something" undetermined.

When the actual idea of a specific case was brought up, people tended to say "Buff Ledge sounds like a solid case. The Hills' case looks pretty good. Maybe Travis Walton's experience [the reported one, not the movie]. Maybe the three ladies in Louisville Kentucky.... " and so it would go with very few particular "on board experiences" cited. I was a bit amazed at the uniformity of the opinions, even Jan's, who I thought might go thumbs down on all of them, but he did not.

Well, what's the problem with all the others?, one might reasonably say. This is a group of UFOlogists who don't readily leap to conclusions on cases unless they are pretty solidly investigated, which includes good looking into witness credibility and using convincing investigative techniques. I'm not going to get "down-and-dirty" on any of that, but just leave that statement stand. Also, there are "many", in the sense of a couple dozen or so, CE4s which I did not mention above, which might join those noted, upon dragging out the case files and micro-analyzing them. But not thousands....

The ones which would come under serious negative evaluation would be things like Andreasson [where SOMETHING is going on, but unlikely to have anything to do with UFOlogy], Allagash, Linda Napolitano, any "recent" claims from the Rocky Mountain conferences [despite all of us loving Leo Sprinkle as a human being and a friend], etc etc .


We talked about many other things as well, of course; most far less controversial. We are happy that the UFOs and Government book is plowing forward in sales and recognition, and [slow as such things are], we're patiently optimistic that all the work will have been worth it. Don even bought an extra copy that I had and insisted on me signing it --- pretty embarrassing since he's one of my best friends in the "business".

Don also mentioned that he's working with a fellow who has a few, very small, [thumbnail-sized or smaller], pieces of potential Roswell debris. These bits of Aluminum/Magnesium+ alloy have VERY good provenance [for a change], and are exactly the sort of thing that one would imagine possible to get and test. We are hoping for a mysterious isotope shift in the data. THAT would "put the fox in the hen house".

We discussed "models" for what's going on. I gave my "Three Categories of Ultra-Advanced Civilizations" hypothesis, and the supplement that I felt was necessary to keep Roswell from being a hard-to-swallow "outlier". The guys seemed interested, but it was probably just that I was the one providing the food.

Jerry wanted to talk about his "experience anomalies" concept, with which he [and I] try to cope with the non-core-UFO phenomena like high-strangeness encounters with Faerie, ABSMs, Lake monsters, Black Dogs, the weird end of the MIBs, etc. Neither he nor I think that these things have anything to do with the physical textbook universe normally experienced [whereas we think that the core UFO phenomenon is nothing except that]. Jerry and I tend to lean towards a parallel sort of world, which "overlaps", or "slips", or creates "portals" occasionally, and "things get in" occasionally before slipping back. Or, maybe rarer, we slip over briefly. The other guys at the weekend we at least tolerant of this arrant nonsense on our parts.

Jerry brought up one of the encounters which has stuck in his craw for decades: the Samuel Eaton Thompson encounter way back in 1950. Read about it in his UFO encyclopedia or in his Extraordinary Encounters. Thompson comes upon a group of naked cherubic children, and shortly their parents, in the Washington state woods. Communication takes place, largely either nonsensical or romantically Utopian. None of which fits Thompson's own interests nor character. So what the heck was THIS?

I of course don't know. It sounds paranormal, but Thompson has much "physical" reason to believe that these are physically real entities. It sounds a lot like Faerie. But where's Faerie? I gave my not-even-close-to-half-baked concept of the privileged universe collapsing its wave functions [our universe], flanked by two reasonably robust parallel almost-twins-but-lesser foci to either "side" as the Universal Wave Front collapses "into the future". Between our universe and those, the slippages occur. Everyone agreed that I didn't need to warn them that this was almost certainly BS.


Much else was, of course, touched upon over the three days. We didn't solve the Mysteries of the Universe [thank Goodness, you say, plenty left for us!!], but we did solve part of the Mystery of leading a good life: Open your Hearts and Minds. Find things that make your feelings race. Pursue them honestly and with respect for the Truth within them. Join with good colleagues who become wonderful friends. And sit around your watchfires, like candles illuminating the darkness.

All my best friends are candles illuminating the night. Bless them, and you, all.

13 comments:

  1. Thanks to The Professor for a very enjoyable and engaging time. But beyond the cerebral exercising, I must say that the Kalamazoo beer was very tasty. Both the amber ale and the stout. For you beer aficionados, I highly recommend the Kalamazoo brews.

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  2. Hi, Whats the issue with the Allagash case- I thought it was well investigated.

    John.

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    1. This would take a lot of time and still not be very satisfying. Permit me to get away with simply saying that the people at the meeting are uncomfortable with the possibility of extreme collusion between the witnesses and the apparent fact that one of the four has wanted to bail out on his buddies on the claim from almost the beginning. When guys like myself and the fellows at the meeting want to defend the reality of the phenomenon, we tend to become really hard sells, as when you put a set of cases out there the debunkers go directly for the weakest link and then smear everything over with the resultant fog and criticism. ... I'm going to leave it at that.

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    2. You're not saying you're simply afraid of giving comfort to the "enemy"? Oh...

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    3. Somewhat of a wisecrack remark... disappointed. Anyone interested in this from a research point of view can get plenty of information about the debate about the Allagash case. I have nothing secretive nor unique. It IS a complicated case and it WOULD take a long time to unravel it --- way too much for some tag-on discussion to another post. Give me a break. I obviously have no deep love for the case [no emotional attachment] or I'd not have mentioned it in these terms. The comment that I'm holding back something on a case that I consider not particularly germane to the reality of the core UFOlogical phenomenon is a slap in the face and not very thoughtful on top of that.

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  3. So sorry to have missed the gathering,unfortunately the gods were against me this time (shaking fist at sky). Glad it went well and look forward to the next one.....

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    1. You were missed my friend. We needed someone there to keep Robert, Richard, and Jan in line. If the guys want to, maybe we can do it again after fighting past the Kzoo winter. April or June.

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  4. Missing time! I remember flying to Chicago, driving to Kalamazoo, riding down the road and noting some very attractive Western Michigan co-eds (does anyone use this term any more?) in those yoga pants. Ah! The next thing I remember is being on the plane back to Hartford. What weekend?

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    1. ... too much Bell's OBERON and Amber Ale ---> Missing Time. But never fear: you didn't say anything that anyone else understood all weekend [although we have sent the recordings to Homeland Security].

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  5. It has been very interesting to learn about your opinions on abductions.
    Your preference for very old ones, to say the least, reflects (besides the point that all are getting older) a welcomed and sobering view on modern Ufology.
    Nevertheless, those old cases are also full of holes. I would like to point several.

    What can I say about the Hill case that has not been already said? Well, regarding the "missing time" section, I find it debatable when two reasonable people such as Pflock and Brookesmith cannot even agree on a timetable. Add to it the local insights provided here (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/009378.html) and I am satisfied to think it was a fabulation under hypnosis based on Betty dreams. Reading "Captured" you also find many other details that point against an ETH interpretations of the incident and its aftermath.

    I have read somewhere that Ron Westrum considered that in the Stanford's triple abduction the investigation was tainted by Len Stringfield, who made leading questions and showed drawing of entities to the witnesses before they "remembered" seeing them. In any case, the fact is that the 3 ladies gave substantial DIFFERENT (I would even say incompatible) stories of their time aboard.

    The same happens with the Buff Ledge case. As I wrote years ago (in a Spanish bulletin, sorry), even if Webb pointed up to 24 similarities between the stories recovered from the two witnesses (who at some time where hypnotized by the same professional, even if they had not discussed the incident between them, which indeed they somehow did when meeting after 10 years, in a terrible flaw of the investigation), the differences were much more glaring. Let me mention a couple:

    + Both descriptions of the entities are quite different: green vs white skin, deep vs bulging eyes, etc.
    + Michael described Janet on a table dressed in her swinsuit; she recalled her as naked and under a sheet.
    + Webb insists both described a similar group of monitors, but in fact they placed at different places, with different details, and not manned in the same way.
    + Even if both witnesses said to have seen each other aboard the ufo, the circumstances described are quite different.

    It is even funny (seem with hindsight) the insistence of investigators to find similarities between the stories told by the witnesses of shared abductions, passing over the much more clear differences. Another clamorous example of this is the Allagash "Four" that I dissected here (http://www.ufoupdateslist.com/2001/oct/m14-004.shtml). But the situation is worse when they tried to point out similarities with other cases. For example, Webb quoted in his defense a Spanish case: Ucero, August 28th, 1968. In fact, this case was never an humanoid case and when investigated at the site, it was explained as a faulty power line. Beware!

    Regards,

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  6. Thanks for your opinions on these matters. While I agree with some of it, I do not with others [and, by the way, I'll not open some lengthy back-and-forth argument --- that's not the function of this blog, nor worth the effort of my rare free time]. Some people are lumpers --- seeing the anomaly in those aspects which are similar and potentially insightful. Some people are splitters --- even so severely that they rapidly discard whole narratives at the sign of an imperfection in their eyes. The readers of this blog are, to my awareness, very intelligent and open-minded people who, if interested, will read much more than they get here and make up their own minds.

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  7. Well, 99, we did not get this deep in the weeds. My comments were something on the order that most abductions contain volumes of testimony which lead nowhere. No insight to something new. No knowledge which could not be found on earth. Now if we go back to Campbell in his Sept 1947 eidtorial in Astounding Sci Fic that people could easily be kidnapped and released only to tell confused silly tales of their time with out worlders. One abduction which caught my attention involved a witness who claimed little knowledge of math, but the entities seemed to try to teach him higher math, through something akin to analytical geometry. However, my personal assessment of Jacobs, Mack, and Hopkins is skeptical. However, on abductions Phil Klass has to line up behind me. I did express interest in the Hills, Bluff Ledge and some others, but not for the literal reasons you seem to think to discard them.

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    1. Mr. Aldrich
      Your reference to Campbell editorial in September 1947 mentioning alien abductions was new to me. I checked a copy of that issue of Astounding and the Editorial was titled "Elementary Applications" and devoted to the uses of some elements of the Periodic Table. Can you please check your data? I am very interested in such a quote.

      Regards

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