Erich Kuersten made many absolutely right on points about UFO research. He asks, using the Aurora, Texas case as his example, why residents of that town, science, etc. stonewall UFO researchers at a given point:
What is the reason for all the refusal to let science and ufology blunder in to try and prove the truth of the legend? Where does disrespect end and legit quest for understanding begin?
Of course we can broaden Erich’s question to all other UFO cases where this occurs, as well as paranormal and Fortean events like Bigfoot and other cryptid encounters, hauntings, etc. I think one reason this resistance to researchers “blundering in” is due to a fear of looking ridiculous. This fear runs so deep, it becomes far more important than answers or clues to Really Big Questions, like the nature of UFOs and the existence of aliens, or, Bigfoot, and so on. Fear of looking silly, gullible, or naive, of being hoaxed, or somehow taken in. Those fears loom over any truths that may be discovered.
As a side note and a bit off topic, look at the criticisms of researchers like Linda Moulton Howe. Howe, who has done significant work in the field of UFO and related research, like cattle mutilations, has been heavily trounced by others for her gullibility in some cases. Agreed, to a point, but so what? Do moments of hope, even gullibility in some cases, wipe out previous work, the data revealed? We’re human, regardless of philosophical stance on research, and when it comes to the soup that is Fortean-Esoteric-Paranormal-UFO stuff, we can’t afford to continue pretending things are so neat and tidy, clear and obvious. We are not objective beings, and we are often being played by forces we are barely aware of, and certainly don’t understand.
Meanwhile, the evidence is already in and overwhelming if you're willing to accept it, to make the connections.
Erich asks, of mystery and process:
Or to let somethings be a mystery?I know Erich is asking this in context of UFOs and aliens, but I’ll extend this to other subjects as well, like Bigfoot. I accept that Bigfoot exists, even though I’ve never seen one. (Yet.) I accept it exists because I personally know many who tell me they have seen one, and I believe them. I also accept that the evidence points to its existence, and I have spent many years studying the stories of witnesses -- many who’ve had UFO and high strangeness events embedded within the Bigfoot encounter -- that I find fascinating. I may not believe everything literally, but I believe that, at the very least, a Sasquatch was seen, and in many cases, something profound occurred that extended the already profound experience of seeing a Bigfoot in the first place. I don’t need a body to prove Bigfoot exists, I don’t care if it’s ever proven it does, I don’t give a damn if science or the world finds this proof, especially if it means capturing or killing one. There is no -- NO -- justification for supporting a “kill” philosophy in regards to Bigfoot.
Likewise UFOs; first of all, they indeed exist. We see objects in the sky all the time. “Do UFOs exist?” is most decidedly the wrong question.
For myself, who’s seen several UFOs, experienced missing time, and all kinds of other high strangeness episodes, since childhood, involving UFOs and entities, I don’t need proof. I don’t need to justify or even explain. I don’t need to do anything. I am, however, compelled to explore, and also share. I'm not sure why, it’s just part of the process. Take it or leave it, like it or not, believe me or don’t.
Erich asks us:
What do YOU believe? And in the end, do you really need everyone else to believe it first? Are you afraid to pick a truth and make the jump, to just answer your own multiple choice rather than spying on all your neighbor's papers?More excellent questions posed by Erich. This is why I’m not bothered by the tricksters, hoaxers (well, I am to a small degree, but not by much), and more importantly, the ones much of UFOlogy hold in disdain, like the contactees. Who knows if the paranormal Bigfoot witnesses are nuts, or the contactees were liars? Their experiences are simply too rich and complex to dismiss as simple deceits. A few out and out liars within the global experiences of the weird doesn’t justify the exclusion of these kinds of stories. And what of the UFO Police; those who demand that certain types of witnesses, researchers, theories and experiences be excluded -- shunned --from their would be tidy world of UFO research?
It gets back to the ugly side of human nature, that fear of looking silly. Researcher A is serious, damnit, and he or she shall not be tainted by associating with researchers delving into reptilian encounters or channeling aliens or Contactees or psychic Bigfoot. These stories may be full of it, but, within those stories is something we are missing by rejecting them. And that is the deceitful, playful, sometimes dangerous, sometimes merely mischievous, force of the thing itself; the very UFO/Fortean phenomena Researcher A, along with the rest of us, are studying.
And then there’s another unpleasant side to human nature: arrogance. We get so stuck in our egos, our personas, our need to be right (rather, to appear to be right), that we simply won’t let others play.
A recent example of the need for control over theories and research was the thuggish antics of crop circle researchers Michael Glickman and Gary King, who demanded that Colin Andrews be removed from the list of presenters at the Power Places International Crop Circle Conference this past summer. If the coordinators of the conference did not agree to dis-invite Colin Andrews, Glickman and King said they would not appear. What a sad and distressing combination of arrogance and fear. Withholding information -- and possibilities -- from other researchers as well as the public is unethical. It clearly speaks to the fear within, as well as the fear of others -- you, me, us, -- to think for ourselves. (Rather than dis-invite Andrews and give in to Glickman and King, the conference directors canceled the conference altogether.)
So, we don’t get to exhume bodies, kill a Bigfoot, get invited into the halls of Big Science to play with their toys, and yet we continue to frantically grasp after proof, after things that will say I’m Right, You’re Clearly Deluded. Forgetting that such proof will never be enough, will never satisfy, will never end such experiences, and will never completely answer anything.
Dead Bigfoot body: how does that explain the high strangeness aspects of BF encounters? What of protections for the creature -- what kind of being is it, and how does it affect culture, religions? UFOs proven to be from, Mars? Are the countless other UFOs from Mars as well? Do we suddenly forget about the man made UFOs that are covertly and illegally operating in our skies, with ill intent? (social engineering, chemical warfare, etc.) This Holy Grail of Proof, once found and offered, will only reveal more questions, and we'll find, it really wasn't proof at all.
We are always in the front room, to use the anthropologist’s example. No matter how much we may think we’re in the know, there are many more rooms to explore. We move into one, or two, if we’re lucky, and told we’re “in.” Some of us believe that. Some of us refuse to believe there are more rooms; or that, those rooms are of no consequence. Those rooms are just the broom closets, not worth investigating. Well how do you know, if you haven't looked?