February 15, 2010

Greg Bishop Asks – Shouldn’t Ufology Have the Answer by Now?


Today I’d like to cover an excellent blog post from one of my personal favorite bloggers – Greg Bishop. On February 12, Greg posted an excellent blog entry titled, “Blurry Photos, Shaky Videos, and More Damn Sighting Reports.

What do I like about Greg’s blogging? Simple – he’s one of the few folks in Ufology that more often than not is willing to avoid diving into a particular belief head-first without some form of verifiable evidence. If you follow along with the latest sightings (I have my Google Feed Reader configured with the top “latest sighting” sources) then you know that lately there’s been a strange influx of increased reports over the past couple of months. A few examples:

->A February 12th report in the Exmouth Herald about a Close Encounter of the Third Kind in the UK.
->On February 12th, Wigan Today reported a witness account of another UK sighting in Standish Lower Ground.
->On February 12th, the Daily Dust blog reported the 44th sighting of a UFO in Lancaster.
->On February 12th, the Drogheda Independent reports on a man who actually captured some footage of the lights in the sky.

These are all only a few of the latest examples, but I can picture the old veteran Ufologist, Greg Bishop, watching all of the unfolding drama and buzz – shaking his head because he has seen the same series of events unfold so many times before. And in just a few weeks or months, the answer will be no closer – the world will only be left with more questions.

Bishop’s Take on the Madness

I would like to review a few of Greg’s best comments and respond to them, because I personally agree strongly with his stance and the direction he’s headed. Greg writes:

After over fifty years of an (occasionally) systematic study of UFOs, we seem to be nowhere nearer any good explanation than our parents and grandparents were. With all of the puzzling evidence, you would think that this mess would be solved by now.


This is the truth – and the crux of the problem not only in Ufology but also in ghost hunting, another area that I have an avid interest in. The problem in both fields is the same – after years of study, observations and research – humanity is nowhere closer to the source of these phenomenon. In 1979, when Jacques Vallee wrote Messengers of Deception (this was well over twenty years ago), he was already expressing the same sort of frustration with Ufology that Greg expresses on his blog. On page 3 of that book, Jacques writes:

That leaves the UFO buffs, who have been collecting stories for thirty years, concentrating on the kinds of data that fit their theories. And they have been fighting each other in an endless, pointless confrontation, not of ideas and theories, but of personalities in egotistical conflict.


However, you can’t really blame Ufologists either. If you lock a group of people into a pitch black room and then obscure the exit so no one (except those who know the secret location of the exit doorway) can possibly find the way out – in time the group will devolve into a mess of bickering, arguing and infighting. Sure, first you’ll have a leader or two who will try to lead the group out of the darkness, but once that goes on long enough, other members of the group will get frustrated with the lack of results and forge out on their own, believing that they can do better.

Compound that with the fact that every generation there are brand new members added to this group-in-darkness. And then compound that with the fact that some members of the group – out of sickness, spite or simple venality – decide to play games and fool members of the rest of the group into believing that the exit is somewhere that it isn’t.

What you end up with is pure madness and no answers. Greg continues:

The cultural model for the phenomenon is still aliens from other planets, even though there is no verifiable evidence to back up this belief, which is presently all that we have. Many UFO researchers and fans know (somehow) that aliens are here and it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the population realizes this fact. Some of them are just waiting for that glorious “We told you so” day.


This is a perfect representation of the state of Ufology right now. I disagree that it’s the only belief that we have to work with, I do agree that it’s the predominant one at the moment. Greg continues:

There is a very good chance that some sort of non-human intelligence occasionally interacts with us. What form this takes is still wide open to study and debate, but centuries of strange encounters and a myriad of sometimes reflexive phenomena makes it difficult (for me anyway) to keep stuffing everything into the “delusion” basket. Aliens could be coming from other planets, but why limit our possibilities?


On this point – Greg hits at the heart of the issue. It could be that Ufology is now at a turning point. After fifty years of exploration, analysis and research, it’s time to come to terms with the fact that we’re dealing with a phenomenon that is deceptive in nature, interactive (although the interaction could very well be psychologically self induced), and constant throughout many generations of humanity.

Whether you’re talking fairies, elves, evil witches or aliens and night-time visitations, terrifying apparitions and flashes of glowing orbs in the air and the sky – all of these things are not new experiences…but they remain experiences that draw people toward the occult or other non-traditional systems of belief for “answers.”



Filed under: UFOlogy — Tags: , , , , — RyanDube @ 11:34 pm




1 Comment

  1. avatar

    Pretty neat summary of where a lot of people aren’t…but maybe should be. I prefer to focus on the past 100+ years, but I agree we’re no closer than we ever were. There are better accounts, more extraordinary claims and rising piles of documents…signifying what? Who knows? The echoes of Phil Klass’ ‘curse on ufologists ‘ is still stalking the subject….yikes!

    Comment by Kandinsky — February 22, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

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