June 19, 2013

Science Rejected: Another Hastings Con Job at UFO Chronicles


By James Carlson

Robert Hastings

UFO researcher Robert Hastings recently published an internet article at TheUFOChronicles.com entitled “Science and UFOs: Part 1 – The Condon Committee Con Job” that has – like the spontaneous erosion of mental acuity at a frat house every time someone screams beer run! – been reprinted at every UFO website in the market for free copy without any real concern for content. It’s another of Hastings’ standard rants addressed to the base of UFOlogy, one intended to elevate the worth of his name to a population of readers more than willing to trust his ethics and believe his claims for one reason and one reason alone: he tells them exactly what they want to hear. He does so, in fact, confident that few will ever challenge his claims, let alone conduct an honest hour or so of basic research to determine whether the extent of his sincerity can be measured in the quality of his claims. Had they been inclined to do so in the past, they would have discovered long ago how irresponsible he is with facts, how willing he’s been to distort the claims of witnesses, and how eager he is to insert his own unchecked, and ill-conceived personal contributions into UFO accounts merely to increase that false sense of credibility in an environment already considered lethal to such commonly valued standards of integrity. It’s like a bad comic trying to merge the local drunk’s steamy leavings with one more example of pop culture’s endless aperitifs.

The primary source Robert Hastings uses to address his alleged Condon “Con Job” issue is the testimony of Dr. James E. McDonald, a highly flawed individual who, like many others, allowed the UFO issue to consume his better instincts. He was once a reasonably successful scientist who was published regularly in well-respected scientific journals and compendiums throughout his career, the only exception being the entire period encompassing his UFO assessments and studies. During that period, he wrote nothing at all that science-oriented journals were willing to be associated with. They refused en masse to publish his claims and conclusions, because he was unable to support them with anything even approaching the use of standard, scientific methods. He could not even articulate the means by which one could test the assumptions he willingly made throughout the remainder of his life. The reasons for this are obvious. Although he was a gifted physicist, McDonald had little intuitive comprehension of human psychology, and was unable to differentiate between the varied levels of “truth” inherent to witness testimony. And let’s be very clear: UFOlogy is nothing but witness testimony. McDonald’s solution to his little quandary was to accept that everything he was told must be true. And like many others trying to find complex technical solutions to relatively uncomplicated psychological problems, it wrecked him. He could have saved himself a lot of very personal grief if he had simply monitored a few college courses on trial law and observed a few legal disputes in action. Instead, he took it all too personally with disastrous results, because he couldn’t figure out what was actually going on around him every day of the week. UFOlogy didn’t need physicists – it needed folklorists and historians who were well-equipped and willing to focus on formative religions during periods of technical and social uncertainty. McDonald might have saved himself a world’s worth of grief if he had simply stepped back from the brink of his own despair, dropped the study of UFOs completely, and spent a few months of private study and self-reflection with somebody like Carl Jung, who had tried so hard to unravel the spastic convulsions typical of human myths, dreams, and symbols.

Dr. James E. McDonald

McDonald’s frustrations in the budding field of UFOlogy, his perceived failure to validate what he insisted must be true, and his inability to do anything at all that might eventually vindicate his reputation eventually led him to commit suicide. Robert Hastings not only accepts everything this man essentially failed to prove as if it were already validated fact, he even refers to McDonald as “one of the very few scientists to actually study the UFO phenomenon”, an incredible distortion of reality that he’s completely unable to establish, primarily because he’s so grievously wrong. Most educated Americans can unravel this twisted assessment for themselves by merely conducting the simple fact-finding exercises that those who publish Hastings’ tripe should conduct for themselves before giving voice to these ridiculous fictions. Dr. James E. McDonald was not “one of the very few scientists to actually study the UFO phenomenon,” as there have been many, one example of which is the same Condon Committee he’s attempting to discredit. He was, however, one of UFOlogy’s first failures, primarily because he lacked the means to adjudicate the worth of human testimony. In a world in which human testimony is the only evidence available, the willingness to believe is a handicap. McDonald’s failure and his inability to come to grips with that aspect of his research is proof of that.

In addition to McDonald, Robert Hastings once more evokes the contents of a memorandum dated August 9, 1966, that the Condon investigative committee’s project coordinator, Robert Low, originally drafted to convince two undecided members of the University of Colorado administration to accept the Condon UFO study contract offered by the USAF. It was undertaken to persuade the University administration to accept a contract that every other investigative body, university, and college had already refused to accept for the very same concerns held by the individuals Low addressed his comments to: that nothing of scholastic, let alone scientific worth could ever come about as a result of accepting such a contract. Low believed that the publication of such a study could eventually bring the University a level of common renown that it was very much lacking at the time, and he was willing to suggest how the acceptance of such a study should be interpreted by those still undecided. He was allaying fears, not outlining policy. Given the fact that those who were involved in the research and investigations necessary to reach valid, scientific conclusions were completely unaware of the contents of that memorandum, and had, in fact, already adopted a scientific and completely ethical approach to the Condon UFO study that was supported not only by every scientist involved, but by every scientist who later examined that very issue, it’s a bit disingenuous of Robert Hastings to suggest that policy was being determined. Dr. Edward Condon, a well-respected scientist who had been involved with the Manhattan Project during World War Two, was completely unaware of the memo’s contents and was blindsided when McDonald questioned him about it. At the time, Dr. James E. McDonald knew more about its contents than Condon did. Low’s memo, in fact, was a complete non-event in regard to any possible influence it may have had on the conclusions reached by the University of Colorado UFO Project. Even Dr. J. Allen Hynek insisted that Robert Low’s memo was insignificant, and shouldn’t be used to reject Condon’s assessment of UFOs. Hastings is often very good at neglecting important details while adamantly refusing to discuss or mention anything that presents sufficient information to reach a valid, knowledge-based conclusion; it is his modus operandi, one that he has resorted to for most of his career in a sad attempt to suggest credibility that does not otherwise exist.  He’s like a prosecuting lawyer who presents only that evidence that suggests motive and opportunity in relation to the defendant, while neglecting to tell the jury that the defendant was at home eating Chinese fried chicken at a family reunion of 60-people when the crime he’s accused of took place.  He tells obvious lies of omission, yes, but they are also remarkably stupid lies of omission.  Unfortunately, he’s considered something of an authority in a field that doesn’t really concern itself with credibility.  Well, good for him.

Given that a panel of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the oldest and most respected scientific organizations in the world, was charged “to provide an independent assessment of the scope, methodology, and findings of the (University of Colorado) study as reflected in the (University’s) Report”, I hardly think Robert Hastings’ paranoid and baseless whining is even necessary, let alone reasonable. After all, the National Academy of Sciences was given a congressional charter to properly assess questions of science and provide functional advisement to the government of the United States in regard to those questions, while Hastings merely lectures to mostly ignorant audiences while refusing point blank to answer detailed questions or otherwise provide sufficient information to correct that ignorance, thereby ensuring the outcome of an accurate and educated conclusion.

The UFO panel’s report can be found at http://project1947.com/shg/articles/nascu.html. Among its findings are the following points:

1. “In our opinion the scope of the study was adequate to its purpose: a scientific study of UFO phenomena.”

2. “We think the methodology and approach were well chosen, in accordance with accepted standards of scientific investigation.”

3. The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel concurred with the Condon UFO study’s conclusion that there is no basis for the contention that the subject of UFOs is “shrouded in official secrecy”.

4. The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel concurred with the Condon UFO study’s conclusion that “the history of the past 21 years has repeatedly led Air Force officers to the conclusion that none of the things seen, or thought to have been seen, which pass by the name of UFO reports, constituted any hazard or threat to national security.”

5. The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel concurred with the Condon UFO study’s finding that there is no reason to suggest that the investigation of future UFO sightings might “contribute to the advance of science”. In recognition of this, they recommended the Department of Defense handle reports of UFO activity in the context of “normal surveillance operations,” without necessitating the use of special investigative units such as Project Blue Book.

6. The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel concurred with the Condon UFO study’s finding that there is no need for the federal government to “set up a major new agency … for the scientific study of UFOs”.

7. The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel concurred with the Condon UFO study’s finding that “nothing has come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 years that has added to scientific knowledge.”

8. The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel concurred with the Condon UFO study’s finding that associated “important areas of atmospheric optics, including radio wave propagation, and of atmospheric electricity” are of fundamental scientific interest, and “are relevant to practical problems related to the improvement of safety of military and civilian flying.” For this reason, “scientists with adequate training and credentials who do come up with a clearly defined, specific proposal” should be supported.

9. The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel also concurred with the Condon UFO study’s observation that UFO reports and beliefs may also be of interest to “the social scientist and the communications specialist.” For this reason, “scientists with adequate training and credentials who do come up with a clearly defined, specific proposal” should be supported.

10. The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel concurred with the Condon UFO study’s conclusive observation that there appears to be “no reason to attribute them [UFOs] to an extraterrestrial source without evidence that is much more convincing.” This extends as well to the study’s conclusion that “the least likely explanation of UFOs is the hypothesis of extraterrestrial visitations by intelligent beings.”

11. The final conclusions reached by the National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel are balanced and orderly: “We are unanimous in the opinion that this has been a very creditable effort to apply objectively the relevant techniques of science to the solution of the UFO problem.”

It should be evident that Robert Hastings is somewhat handicapped when it comes to determining the value of any evidential support for or rejection of his claims. His refusal to address any balanced arguments whatsoever tends to result in exceptional failure, particularly when it becomes necessary to examine that failure in the context of properly interpreted evidence, the responsible application of which Hastings has shown a marked contempt for.

The National Academy of Sciences reviewing panel even sought the input of Dr. James McDonald, making an aggressive effort to review a number of reports the Condon Committee had neglected for one reason or another to review. The panel nonetheless approved of every conclusion to every argument the UFO study took into account. Does Robert Hastings believe that the National Academy of Sciences was also party to the egregious cover-up that he accuses the Condon Committee of perpetrating, or does his noteworthy paranoia in regard to scholarly assessments prevent him from reaching a balanced interpretation of Condon’s UFO report? There seems to be little doubt that something irresponsible and contrary to the well-assessed disciplines of scientific endeavor seems to have taken place somewhere between the National Academy of Science’s contemporary review of the Condon Committee’s study and Robert Hastings’ near clownish criticism of the same. It’s almost like he decided well in advance of his published condemnation that he wouldn’t even read the panel’s review accompanying the publication of the study’s report.

Upon a thorough examination of Hastings’ assessment of Condon’s study, it’s hard not to conclude that Hastings’ primary grievance with the University of Colorado’s UFO Study is somewhere tied to his outrageous claims that the USAF had insisted in advance that Condon’s study reach a very specific conclusion that would allow them to publically disown any further interest in UFO phenomena. A more balanced examination, however, shows us almost immediately that the USAF didn’t need Condon to reach the conclusions that the National Academy of Sciences also concurred with wholeheartedly. The fact is, the conclusions Condon reached had already been publically affirmed two years prior to the UFO study that was undertaken, making Hastings’ charges of a whitewash sheer lunacy – one more paranoid take of an issue he has proven himself both incapable and unworthy of examining with any real honesty.

Dr. Edward Condon and LBJ

What we’ve got here is just another case of whining by a UFO researcher who refuses to accept conclusions that the National Academy of Sciences found perfectly reasonable to adopt upon its examination of the very same issue. What we’re actually looking at is merely another attempt by UFO proponents to rewrite and reassess ancient history in a vainglorious and ill-advised attempt to whitewash their own past failure to properly address these same issues. It’s no accident that the only real evidence being presented in support of continuing UFO studies is, to a great extent, little more than the reinterpretation of decades-old accounts. The reasons for adopting such a seemingly self-defeatist strategy should be obvious. Since 1947, UFOlogy in general has defined the very character of failure, part of which is due to the previously referred to yet nonetheless habitual refusal of those attempting to promote these cases to examine all of the evidence available instead of merely those elements supporting the possibility that UFOs are somehow worthy of our attention. The fact that new cases, for the most part, have proven to be relatively easy to dismiss with real cause leaves those promoting this abject assessment with few options outside of rejuvenating older cases after their somewhat justifiable dismissal from further assessment many, many years ago. Attempts to refocus current interest on paranoid concerns that the reexamination of incidents 20 to 60 years ago supports the contention that UFOs are interested in nuclear weapons facilities is merely more misleading crap on the windmills, a desperate bid for undeserved attention that less flawed investigators dismissed years ago. Robert Hastings’ arguments aren’t new or original; they’re merely sour propaganda based on incomplete cases, the unbalanced consideration of available data, undisguised contempt for the fruits of actual science, and the repressive, illegible scrawls of men like Dr. James E. McDonald, who ended up killing himself when his obsession started to ruin his life, tear apart his family, and destroy what scholastic reputation he had somehow managed to foster before jumping on a bandwagon that he wasn’t psychologically equipped to encounter with any real sense of grace.

Perhaps this is why Robert Hastings has in the past found it necessary to invent or distort evidence, to lie about his witnesses’ statements and the conclusions reached on their basis, and has presented fraudulent claims thinly disguised as UFO testimony – all of which he has done repeatedly and liberally over the years. As a result, I hardly think his credibility is anywhere near that of the National Academy of Sciences (or the Condon Committee, for that matter). After all, they have over 200 Noble Prize recipients to rely on, while all Robert Hastings has got is a little sad experience promoting a hoax – and doing so in the absence of any ethical or educated assessment. It isn’t appropriate or honest, and he hardly qualifies as the expert witness called upon to reassess historical points of view regarding matters he doesn’t understand, is ill-equipped to examine, and has no intention of doing so with the open mind that science demands of both its critics and its champions.

In other words, he’s produced one more plaintive cry in the wilderness that we can safely and properly ignore as a complete waste of time.







October 1, 2012

The Aggressive Pursuit of Ignorance


(More Attempts to Establish UFO Claims by Neglecting the Details)

By James Carlson

Wikipedia LogoTim Hebert [see: http://timhebert.blogspot.com/] should be congratulated for attempting (and, for the most part, succeeding) to chronicle the recent attempts of UFO-nuke proponents to establish a case of UFO interference with nuclear missiles at Malmstrom AFB in March 1967 by recounting the most doubtful of their claims under new titles accessible via Wikipedia. Given a field of play that resulted in a great many changes to the published content over a relatively short period, Hebert’s desire to report progress in a chronologically lucid manner could not have been an easy task, but his perseverance resulted in an interesting and somewhat enlightening series of articles published on his blog.

Hints of the attempts by the unknown researchers were first accorded some attention in the Comments section of Hebert’s July 14, 2012 blog entry “The Oscar Flight Mystery: A Tree Falling in a UFO Forest” [see: http://timhebert.blogspot.com/2012/07/o ... ng-in.html]. This recounts attempts to publish two articles on Wikipedia, “Oscar Flight UFO/Missile Incident” at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Flig … e_Incident and “Echo Flight UFO/Missile Incident” at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echo_Fligh … e_Incident. Both attempted to establish full flight failures of the missiles at each of the two flights (ten missiles for each) coincident to UFO sightings over the silos of each.

Establishing credibility for the claims must have seemed like an easy task for whomever the ultimate author(s) were, given Wikipedia’s liberal policy of reader participation in what is generally thought to be an associate editor role. Unfortunately, the author(s) were less acquainted with the need for accessible references required, and ultimately these attempts proved to be more damaging to the cases they were trying to illuminate than originally anticipated. As a result, the Echo Flight article, after a short period of debate, was ultimately deleted in full. Due to the fact that there are no references clearly insisting that the missiles at Oscar Flight did NOT fail, the Oscar Flight claims were allowed a further period of respite. It was eventually decided that the issue did not deserve an article of its own, and the the information was instead merged with the general article about Malmstrom AFB [see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malmstrom_ ... O_incident]. Anybody interested in reviewing the entire process, as well as the arguments applied should not neglect the “Talk” pages running in tandem with all of the Wikipedia entries. A great deal more information has been published there [see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Malms ... Force_Base].

 
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Filed under: UFOlogy,UFOs — Tags: , , , , — James Carlson @ 7:55 pm




July 12, 2012

British MOD release more UFO files


Tony Blair ET FingerThe British Ministry of Defence have released a further 6785 pages of UFO-related material, following on from previous releases from the UK National Archive dating back to May 2008.

The latest batch, the first since August of last year, contains information about UFO policy, Parliamentary Questions, media issues, public correspondence and UFO sighting reports. Notable highlights include a MOD briefing about the UK’s UFO files to the then Prime Minister Tony Blair, a UFO sighting during the Falklands War near the British Naval Taskforce, silver-suited aliens, the ubiquitous “Men-in-Black” and of course, little green men.

The files also include a job description for the position of MoD UFO Desk Officer, a junior role which only attracted four applicants when it was advertised internally. Less than a year later, the position no longer existed anyway because the UFO desk was shut down.

The files show just how little the UK government seem affected by UFOs and visitors from outer space. If one were to read some of the ufology-related websites and books out there, you would be forgiven for thinking we were about to be overrun by one of several different races all vying for our resources, both natural and human. Apparently many of our advancements come from reverse engineered alien technology, don’t you know.

If that is the case, the UK government at least are doing a truly fantastic job at keeping it quiet. When one considers how many leaks come out of Whitehall on an almost daily basis, there is absolutely no chance whatsoever that something as momentous as proof of alien life could be kept from the public. Have a read of the files and make your own mind up.

The files can be downloaded for free from the UK National Archive website, but are only available for a limited time. The Archive have provided a helpful highlights guide and a comprehensive file listing which includes these and all files released previously.



Filed under: Disclosure,ET,UFOlogy,Ufology History,UFOs — Tags: , — Stephen Broadbent @ 12:56 pm




April 28, 2012

How to Demand Redress By Shooting Yourself in the Foot


Upon reading Robert Hastings’ most recent article — “Science and UFOs: Part 4 – Sincere but Uninformed Skeptics Have Been Duped by Skeptical Inquirer Magazine”, online as usual at UFO Chronicles — the daughter of a close friend of mine asked me if Hastings was truly as dishonest as I have often maintained.  It’s a good question, one that social responsibility intermixed with a desire to inform demands I address.  And so I have:

In light of his confirmed and irresponsible, dishonest approach to UFOlogical matters, Hastings’ attempts to once again find faults with the methods used by “Sincere but Uninformed Skeptics” has once again done little more than prove to the world his own desire to reach conclusions on the basis of tired logic, false pretenses, and complete lies and idiocy.  The only good news to come out of his most recent wasted attempt to brainwash normal people everywhere is his admission that his newest bit of blather is the “fourth and final installment”.  Thank God for small favors…

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Filed under: UFOlogy,UFOs — Tags: , , , , , , — James Carlson @ 3:16 pm




April 6, 2012

What Happens When You Die?



Alongside the age old question regarding the meaning of life, what happens when you die is another one of those, seemingly unanswerable, questions most of us will ask ourselves at various points throughout our lives. The reason for such a morbid question couldn’t be simpler; it’s going to happen to each and every single one of us. Death is something we share with everyone and every living thing. We are born, we live, and we die.

To understand what happens when you die, we must first understand what death is. The dictionary definition of death is as concise at it is stark: The end of life; the total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions of an organism.

In times gone by, the end of life was determined to be when a person stopped breathing or when they no longer had a pulse. This resulted in many instances of people being declared dead when they were not, with some “miraculously” coming back from the dead – and others being buried alive. More recently, end of life has been determined to be when brain function has ceased. When your brain is gone, you are gone so to speak.

So, your brain has ceased functioning, you’ve stopped breathing and you have no pulse. To put it bluntly, you are dead. What happens now?

Many different cultures and religions have their own opinions on what happens when you die, but the majority of them all have one thing in common; the belief in an afterlife. What that afterlife is differs according to which religion you follow. The afterlife, or “Heaven” is prevalent in all of the major religions, but the details vary from one religion to the next. Christianity tells of a heaven of eternal life, living together with God and one another in peace and harmony. Many other religions, including Islam and Hinduism, tell us of a heaven of many levels. The better you did in life, the higher you will rise in heaven. The Buddhist religion takes that one step further, explaining that residence in heaven is temporary, with a rebirth as humans or animals signalling the start of a new life.

The belief in rebirth, or reincarnation as it is more widely known, is not limited to the Buddhist faith, or even religion in general. Films such as What Dreams May Come and Made In Heaven(a personal favourite!) have helped fuel speculation about reincarnation and the afterlife among the more general population.

In addition to the combination of religious belief and popular culture creating a widely-held belief in life after death, the “Near Death Experience”, or NDE, has cemented that belief even further. A Near Death Experience is a varying set of experiences reported by some people who have nearly died and been brought back, usually by resuscitation.

Many people who have experienced a NDE have reported seeing an intensely bright, white light at the end of a tunnel. Others have reported seeing long dead family members and friends, while some people have reported seeing their body below them while they float above it.

The plurality of experiences might suggest there is something to the notion of life after death, but an almost complete lack of physical evidence would tend to suggest otherwise…

Religious belief in an afterlife requires no evidence for the believer. Religion is built on faith and no amount of evidence to the contrary will sway those who firmly believe they are going to a better place after death. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Such a belief gives comfort to millions and lets them concentrate on living their life while not having to worry about what comes afterward.

What about the Near Death Experiences? The term “near death” gives a huge clue as to what might be happening here. The (vast) majority of people who have experienced them were not actually dead, but simply “nearly” dead. The visions of seeing loved ones are more than likely no different to the dreams we experience when sleeping. By the same token, seeing your body while floating above it could also be a result of dreaming coupled together with the captured senses of the environment around you. Your unconscious self may not be aware of what’s going on around you, but your brain will still be collecting the sounds, smells and sometimes the sights of that environment.

The staple of the NDE, the white light at the end of a tunnel, may also now have a less exciting explanation than confirmation of life after death. Scientists believe this sensation is triggered as a result of the brain shutting down and being starved of oxygen. Tests in high gravity environments have shown that our eyes naturally create a tunnel effect when they start to lose oxygen, so seeing a white light at the end of a tunnel when close to death suddenly becomes much less enigmatic.

For all that is written about life after death, there is not a single shred of verifiable evidence to confirm that we, or more specifically our souls, live on after our bodies have died. In those instances where people claim to have found proof of it, a cursory look at their data reveals shoddy research, vague assumptions and a distinct lack of objectivity.

We’ll be looking at some of those claims in a future article, but assuming what happens after you die is nothing, why should this be a reason for so much concern in the first place?

Multi-award-winning writer/comedian Ricky Gervais said it best; You remember what it felt like for the 14 billion years before you were born? It’s exactly like that.

 

What do you think happens when we die? Let us know in the comments below.



Filed under: Reality — Tags: , , , , — Stephen Broadbent @ 5:12 pm




January 7, 2012

Sleepless in Roswell [Part 2]


This the concluding part of Colin Bennett’s Sleepless in Roswell, part one of which was published yesterday.


 

5. Weaponisation of the Narrative

Alien under ConstructionIn this sense meant by Errol Morris, can we deconstruct “fact”? Is the universe meant to work properly, or does the fabled “noise in the machine” function (like the UFO) as an anomalistic destabiliser? Does the slightest anomaly blossom out like the proverbial butterfly’s wing and throw any and every partially-stabilised system into chaos?

Certainly belief structures, from Jesus to UFOs, from Nazism to Capitalism, can be designed, managed and cultivated as crops in a cosmological nutrient. The symbiotic relationship of we might call a “soft” Lady GaGa mass-media system to the “hard” spines of rational belief structures appears to  concern the somewhat political management of different degrees of counter-ritualization concerning metaphor structure. Story-lines dispute fact and fact does not like story lines in the sense that they tend to destabilize the inner dimensions of fact which propagandistically (and all culture is propaganda) would like to be seen as absolutes.

This leads to the somewhat postmodern thought that live consciousness is a manipulation of theatres managing a scaling of allowances rather than objectivities. Thus in our New Model Ufology here we may say that the “extraterrestrial alien” (for example) is permanently “under construction” rather than being either strictly factual or strictly fictional.

Thus the answer to Fermi’s question “where are they?” is that  the alien is under construction…

http://www.paranoiamagazine.com/backissues.html

Therefore (as is happening) bits and pieces of a whole thing may arrive before the main body. This is a good model for Darwinism and the 19th century Eugenics movement forming eventually into the main body of Nazism in the form of Adolf Hitler. In the same as Eugenics were under discussion…

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January 6, 2012

Sleepless in Roswell [Part 1]


Sleepless in Roswell 

Weaponising the Narrative

by Colin Bennett

For Steven Jobs and Stephen Wozniac
Who helped create the modern Imagination

“All Image Systems are Magical Systems.”
(Politics of the Imagination)
“If you think things could get worse, then at least you know that you’re not in Hell.”
(George Mensche, The Rumford Rogues)
“When we imagine we create a form of life”
(Looking for Orthon)

Flying Discman from MarsIntroduction

The world needs to put UFOs and Ufology in a radically different perspective. As a culture it is at least as important as the drawings of Piranesi or Michelangelo, or the paintings of Dali or Chirico. What we get from such precious things we can get from the story-architecture of Ufology, which is now an essential part of our postmodern Imagination. Even in the kitchens of the most ardent sceptic there will be some item which owes its shape and character to the UFO, now a big prime-time star in the postmodern universe. As a Big Star, the UFO is as unavoidable as are Elvis Presley, Monroe, Michael Jackson, or the idea of quantum entanglement.

Ufology turns even downright imposture into a species of postmodern art form, showing that the mechanical truth of a story is something of a decoy.

What matters is that the tale is told complete with all its faults and deceptions and the supposed framework of its truths and lies. Any story bar-codes us forever. Despite our acceptances and rejections, we play with story games, we rehearse them, add new episodes even to absurd claims, and despite ourselves again, we continue and develop even the most dubious episodes, whether they are junk theatre or not.

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January 3, 2012

Examined: The RB-47 UFO Case


RB-47Early last year, well known UFO skeptic Tim Printy was challenged to try and deconstruct the famous RB-47 UFO case and publish his findings in his [quite brilliant] UFOlogy publication “SUNlite“.

The RB-47 UFO incident is considered by many UFOlogists to be the number 1 case of its kind and is often cited as the best evidence that something really is “out there”.

In a nutshell, the story revolves around a US Air Force RB-47 Boeing Stratojet reconnaissance plane which was allegedly followed by an unidentified object for hundreds of miles while on a training flight.

Tim approached a number of UFO skeptics about the matter, including the researchers here at Reality Uncovered, and decided to review the case materials in order to see what might have been overlooked or incorrectly reported. What followed was a comprehensive and exhaustive investigation, the results of which have now been published in the latest issue of SUNlite.

From the article:

This case is a rather extensive event that is composed of two to three separate incidents that UFOlogists have linked together over the years as proof that a UFO was monitoring the movements of a USAF RB-47 aircraft through the southern United States. The UFO was seen by the flight crew and its electronic signature was monitored by the intelligence officers inside the plane. It was also reportedly tracked by ground radar as well. This makes it an important case for UFOlogists because it contains visual observation and confirmation of these observations with electronic data.

…[snip]

I felt there was little hope of finding an acceptable explanation for this case because of its status in UFOlogy. It was already voted by many as the best UFO case ever, which means that no matter what I proposed, I seriously doubted that UFO proponents would accept it. I would also be vilified/ridiculed for having the nerve to suggest any explanation was plausible. Despite these concerns, I received positive feedback and felt the endeavor would be worth the effort.

In our opinion, the article is as good a piece of research and investigative writing as you are likely to find anywhere. Tim highlights many areas where previous explanations have fallen short, showing exactly how and why that is so. It is important to note that Tim himself does not consider this work to be conclusive. However, considering over fifty years have passed since the incident happened, it is our belief this is as conclusive as you are ever likley to see.

Let us know what you think in the comments section below, or in the forum here at RU where Tim is continuing the discussion.



Filed under: UFOlogy,Ufology History,UFOs — Tags: , , — Stephen Broadbent @ 1:06 am




December 29, 2011

By their works shall ye know them… [Part 4]


This is the fourth and final part of James Carlson’s epic exploration into the many and varied ramifications of the F.E. Warren AFB hoax and Ufology in general. A little later than promised, we are sure you will agree it was worth the wait!


 

Disclosure imageThe fascinating point that needs to be recognized here is not the fact that Robert Hastings and his like-minded fellow conspirators have concluded that their goals cannot be reliably established as an unrealized yet historical presence, an all-encompassing worldview, without the use of dishonest and false and abrasive, socially regressive tools developed for that singular purpose.  It is the fact that they are very clearly and insistently using as their starting point the assumption of full disclosure as already accomplished history – a history that the USAF, the Department of Defense, and the government of the United States very effectively dismissed and buried in 1969.  Taking into consideration the fact that the character of their mission is essentially one of westernized religious impulse, it becomes very clear that their goals necessitate the redefinition of Washington, DC as the New Rome, with the Pentagon representing the Colosseum, the Amphitheatrum Flavium, an inaugural symbol of Christian martyrdom, and the celebrated birthplace of Christianity’s own eventually triumphant worldview.  Not even this aspect of the foundations of belief that are being forged upon the emotive consciousness of a social psyche being manipulated by the strategic planting of lies is a very original concept, however.  Washington, DC as the New Rome is a powerful theme stressed within the same complex dynamics of social engineering in the numerous works of science fiction author Philip K. Dick.  The ascension of religious symbology and its subsequent influence on human belief is a common tool with historical relevance for those desiring to harness the commitment and energy of aggressive faith in order to make real their own desires.  More importantly, if the effects of religious impulse have taught the world anything, it is that idealists are most dangerous to those around them when they make the decision to forsake morality in order to ensure that their vision of history is the only one addressed to future generations.  In direct contrast to Hastings and his professional cohorts, most men of ethics simply find it abhorrent to withhold sufficient information to reach valid conclusions, and then tell you what you should believe and demand of others on the basis of that purposely instituted ignorance.  At its most primal level, it is this compulsion to control the opinions and motivations of others that drives men like Robert Hastings to assert such malignant hostility in pursuit of their own goals.

Paranoia imageThe true nature of their compulsion is obvious:  Hastings and his paranoid interests are trying to ignite a common, fearful demand for full disclosure; they have consciously elected to fill the minds of as many individuals as possible with fear and paranoia in regard to the unknown.  They are doing this for political reasons, having convinced themselves that full disclosure is an absolute necessity.  It is not.  It is merely an arbitrary goal born of religious impulse with the same type of emotive conviction behind it.  Although their faith that the results of this disclosure will make clear and establish for all time the existence of extraterrestrial interference on this planet we inhabit may be a conviction they refuse to discard, it is nonetheless misplaced.  It has failed to justify the single and restless burst of anger that followed the United States Air Force’s very general dismissal of UFO claims in 1969, just as it has failed to justify their self-serving belief that full disclosure will eventually negate all of their exhibited impotence and their inability to make concrete the willful, blanketed collusion of that belief and their faith.  They cannot establish the fruits of their claims by their own efforts and have convinced themselves that this failure is the fault of others; they are not to blame for their weaknesses, because the USAF and the Department of Defense have effectively hidden the truth from them, establishing thereby an occultic authority.  It isn’t even relevant that their failures are the result of their own acts and their inability to establish anything more substantial than rumor and innuendo and consistent failure to realize any genuine goals.  When examined from an objective point of view, they have nothing in the absence of conviction, and it is for that reason alone that they rely on subjective viewpoints based entirely on conviction, and nothing else.

The only other socially relevant human experience that can be described in this way is our very human reliance on religious impulse.  The aggressive instincts commonly raised by these issues are due to the mistaken yet resolute conviction that this is a discussion best suited for scientific assessment.  It is not.  There is no scientific assessment capable of resolving this issue for the same reason that there is no scientific assessment capable of resolving the issues raised in regard to beliefs establishing life after death or how best to approach the concept of immortality in a finite universe.  These UFO true believers have created from nothing an issue that relies almost entirely on antiauthoritarian developments and expressions raised throughout the 1960s and early 1970s and washed in the explosive anger, selfishness, and fiscal irresponsibility of the 1980s and 1990s.  It is a social movement that they have failed completely to validate or otherwise objectify for the rest of the world, and they are now reacting in the only way possible that will still enable them to believe in some measure of personal, scientific accomplishment.

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December 21, 2011

By their works shall ye know them… [Part Three]


This is a continuation of James Carlson’s fascinating essay exploring the many and varied ramifications of the 2011 F.E. Warren AFB UFO Hoax. In Part One, James guided us through the blurred reality of the Robert Hastings “Reuters” Press Release, along with a thorough explanation of the F.E. Warren AFB hoax and the methods used by Hastings in order to further his agenda. In Part Two, James explained the real reasons behind the use of anonymous sources and concludes by examining the true motives of those behind the hoaxes.

Part Three continues below with another hard-hitting and refreshingly honest view from James Carlson.


Liar LiarI am currently exploring the numerous works of a select few UFO authors and investigators widely connected to the events they’ve attempted to manufacture and chronicle; they call themselves UFOlogists, so I shall too.  I believe the evidence is plentiful enough to establish their membership in an informal coalition, a loose cabal of similar minded individuals who have shown themselves more than willing to lie, to dissemble, to disable context in order to neglect content, to knowingly reach unsubstantiated conclusions on the basis of faulty information, to remain silent in regard to the known lies and errors in fact committed by other members of the coalition, and to express public support for the unsubstantiated conclusions of these same individuals in order to establish a united front against criticism and to forge a false aura of infallibility surrounding their enterprises and the value of their claims.  These individuals are united by their singular motivation for the deceit they have practiced:  they want to convince the world at large that USAF and DoD officials were knowingly lying when they insisted for years that UFOs as defined by J. Allen Hynek do not exist and are therefore not a threat to the security of the United States of America.  It’s that simple.

Their habits are notable to anyone paying attention to what they do and having the will to examine the same witnesses and evidence that they have made the subject of their claims.  Primarily, they convince those willing to be convinced by showing a united front, giving the false appearance of infallibility by assuming a point of view with vested opinions held by numerous “scholars” and “scientists” and “journalists” and “military witnesses” and “historians” from all over the world, supposedly “independent” minds reaching a natural accord on the basis of well-studied facts and consistent claims.

In actuality, this showboating is simply a pathetic lie that results from their collaborative failure to examine with any honesty the assertions and claims made by those who hold opinions of public regard for their own work and claims.  In other words, they refuse to criticize or otherwise examine the impact of bad research, false justifications, poorly established conclusions and blatant lies whenever such poorly integrated tales and inundations of wasted hours at a word processor support the general tone and structure of their own works and/or beliefs.  By resorting to such tepid strategies, they replace the common standards of peer review with worthless head nodding like nodding dogs on a particularly bumpy road [thanks to Stephen Broadbent for the markedly visual phrase].

Many examples of this behavior and other details of these somewhat erratic attempts to manufacture history will be discussed over the next few weeks in a series of articles divulging the machinations of the like-minded members of this cabal as the clearest method to reveal and condemn their methods.  They are legion, and that fact necessitates a more structured approach to the claims they’ve made.  It insists that relationships be explored and resonant claims appealing more to a unified vision than to actual events be dissected in order to discover the few facts they’ve either tried to hide because they reveal the dishonest core of their claims, or carelessly addressed without knowing the ultimate cost such claims would eventually weigh against their integrity and the worth of their claims.

One example of this behavior, however, will be presented now, because I want to define this aspect of their preferred methodology due to the reliance on its use being so common within the group that it can be measured and calculated upon their own aggressive allegations.  Basically, the act is universal and simple:  when one member reacts to criticism of his own personal claims by changing specific details of his story, other members of this united coalition act as if there were no changes made whatsoever.  They simply agree with whatever the current story on the record is.  The practice is, as I’ve said, common, and for that reason is easily established, and its purpose easily revealed.

Robert JamisonFor example, when Robert Jamison claimed that UFOs were reported over Malmstrom AFB in correlation with his claims in regard to Oscar Flight missile failures alleged by Robert Salas, members of the cabal were notable and united in their insistence that reports of UFOs over Malmstrom AFB supported Jamison’s claims, and thereby Salas’.  This was accepted as evidence of mutual claims asserted, and was discussed as acceptable evidence of an actual event by other members of the group, such as Richard M. Dolan, author of “A.D. After Disclosure: The People’s Guide to Life After Contact”.  Dolan, in fact, found the measure of worth so valuable, that he later insisted the evidence for Salas’ Oscar Flight claims surpassed even those Salas has addressed for an Echo Flight incident, even though there has never been presented any documented evidence or reasonable assessment of any such event having ever occurred at Oscar Flight.  The circular perambulations these people rely on to make such a weak point could carve tornadoes into the sun.

Unfortunately for those claims, Oscar Flight is at least a hundred miles away from the UFOs reported at Malmstrom AFB, which couldn’t possibly be used to reflect any related claims whatsoever.  When this became public knowledge as a result of critical assessments, Robert Jamison changed his story (not for the first time nor the last) and announced that UFOs were reported over Lewistown in correlation with his claims in regard to the same Oscar Flight missile failures.  He dutifully drafted a new affidavit for Robert Hastings to use and the event was thereby set in stone, another worthless claim for the insensible few who weren’t paying attention to first principles.  Following this, members of the cabal acted as if there was no change at all in his story, and simply insisted that the UFO reports over Lewistown had confirmed Jamison’s claims.

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