Monday, May 27, 2019

Unjustified Ignorance: UFOs In Prime Time History

Pan American Airlines and Spring Break: Real or Fake?

UFOs... Real or Fake?
Unjustified Ignorance: 
UFOs In Prime Time History 

By Alfred Lehmberg

Wow! Faint praise largely born of disappointed ennui, but it was a rare blue moon occurrence... as those moons pertain to UFO reportage! Actual and existential, more thoughtful wheat than dismissive chaff. One was almost made hopeful. Almost.

Though, that's the way of a dissolute corporate media when it condescends to pump its ratings by juicing on UFOs. Agendas will be both reasonable and unreasonable... in a "served" public's best interest... or not... expect, not. ...No upside to tellin' the truth. Where's the money in that?

It remains that, generally, public programming with regard to UFOs aspires to an illusion of a "balance" that, ironically, is anything but a "balance." Usually? Too much dismissively distracting chaff provided for justifiably curious wheat. A metaphor would be giving equal weight in a debate between a militant creationist and a credentialed string-theorist about... string theory. Yeah... we'll do that anymore... to be fair. Pause for squirty giggles.

How are these positions, for example, remotely equivocated? The former ignores the evidence, presumes a faith for what cannot be, in a reasonable sense, and can't give an inch on the evidence of its scientifically reductionist "scripture," which can only be taken, circularly, on that aforementioned faith, faith wholly untestable and so untested. The latter at least aspires to be mindful of evidence, would follow data to a conclusion and abhor the inverse of that process, and affirms that error, admitted, is a step up, still. 

Risking too fine a point, the latter put humans on the moon and harnesses massive energies in aspirations with regard to reaching for galactic efficacy. The former scrapes the genitals from little girls with garden tools and embodies massive hypocrisy as a digressive lifestyle. 

No, to equate these things is the same as equating the authoritative with the authoritarian, and this is not possible where it is the inferior authoritarian process which makes a more reasonable and sensible, vastly superior, authoritative process... look weak, in comparison, minus the authoritarian's obtuse and obnoxious hard line. That's the authoritarian's greatest sin!

Similarly, one cannot equate what can easily be repeated with what is patently unrepeatable and ascribe to them the same rules or have the same expectancies for them. The former can be commanded. The latter is beyond command. This is why science can't wrap its head around UFOs and exactly how UFOs make science appear, yes, even stupid.

This writer is aware of how fuzzy the line can get between the two philosophies, especially as it pertains to UFOs. Indeed, it may be hard to tell which is which in the bogus equation. Equate Kal Korff with Jacque Vallee. Tilt. Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Hard crash! Though some will try, even insist that it can be done. No, there is wheat and there is chaff. Their fallacious equivocation is the limit case for nonsense. You can live on the former, reader. On the latter, you'll only starve.

So, it was an unusual treat, back at the Larry King UFO ranch now, where perhaps a little representational imbalance was in order and appropriately mechanized to typify some real balance, at last! We'd gotten to see some Prime Time UFO reporting from a host of quality ufological proponents, while the insentient and irrelevant opponents of same were under-represented, thankfully, for a change... and badly at that, in a manner poorer and less competent than I have ever seen. That's a low bar, too. 

That's all a good thing. They bring it on themselves. One does not equate flawed with FUBAR and go unscathed or unwarmed!

Seth Shostak was there. He was all discredited slogans, snappy dismissive quips, and faux-confident or self-indulgent and patronizing smiles. That winning smile... a forced smile? He was still smoking slightly from his last debate with the late Stanton Friedman... Verily, and he visibly withered when King reported that Carl Sagan was "something of a believer" after all. Did you catch that, reader? It was a long time ago... Carl Sagan was not a complete sell-out.

The late Budd Hopkins? Even decidedly ill at this point, he was there. This was the Budd Hopkins before every one of his abduction cases were found to be pop-flies finally caught by legitimate skeptics in an outfield crowded with the good and the bad. 

This was the Budd Hopkins before taking a partisan and decidedly self-serving position with regard to David Jacobs, a person still held up as an authority or an elder UFO/Abduction statesman in a manner similar to Nixon with regard to politics (but for the Outré), in the round, despite the very emotionally cloying, if outrageous and still ongoing, Emma Woods affair (...those Shoes to drop, reader!). This was an anxious affair where clearly, unprofessional and malfeasant chicanery is the activity, even recorded for the record. This was the Budd Hopkins before... well, this writer still had the highest regard for him.

That said... real "sense" was made in this Larry King program... and when it was made it was Budd Hopkins, et al, who was making it. He was abundantly buttressed with a cognizant, competent, and very highly respected and googleable, if unpictured, experts JOHN SCHUESSLER, Rob Swiatek, and Bruce Maccabee, but Hopkins was at the top of his game.

Odd... but her eyes are just like this!

Then, we come to Dr. Susan Clancy. I've described her as the blonde leading the blind. Pretty much a flash in the proverbial UAP pan, ufologically, she appeared as a pretty beard for the counter-paranormal/skeptibunky/klasskurtxian set, I'm sure to her dismay as much as anyone's, as it turned out. 

She was deplorable. She was vastly uninformed. She was plainly hostile to a concerted inquiry. She was scientifically irrelevant. She made her bank; however, and moved on. It's what they, agents of fundy klasskurtxia, do, in a nutshell.

From the program:

HOPKINS, Re: a discussion he'd once had with legend Carl Sagan: "...But at any rate, we agreed that all of this [ufological stuff, taken] together constitutes an (sic) phenomenon and so... what I said to Dr. Sagan was: 'Instead of saying extraordinary claims demands extraordinary evidence... Shouldn't we be saying: an extraordinary phenomenon demands an extraordinary investigation? We're not getting an 'investigation' here. What we're getting, unfortunately, are lots of armchair theorists who sit away from the investigation process, who have actually never really gone out to examine the site, the physical marks... whatever it is... to do any medical work... but who have very glib explanations [ready] for each little piece of evidence that's brought up. ...But the accumulation of this evidence is overwhelming."
KING: I will confirm that, because I interviewed the late Dr. Sagan many times and he was, Seth [Shostak], open to the possibility of it and to more investigation of it.
SHOSTAK: I am as well. I am as well...
[scratched record sound] Full...Stop...

~When~, Dr. Shostak? ~Where~, Dr. Shostak? ~How~, Dr. Shostak? With regard to ~what~, Dr. Shostak?

Outside of his own parochial boondoggle at the Silly Exercise To Investigate (SETI)... when has Dr. Shostak ever championed an increase in the aggregate ufological consciousness? No, Dr. Shostak has only ever been a steadily smirking bulwark against same!

Dr. Susan Clancy, the only other skeptibunky representation, was clearly, even pathetically, out of her depth! She blithely displayed an astonishing ignorance about the whole subject of UFOs, and even used that tired old canard of "sleep paralysis" as the leading contender for explaining the still ongoing "alien abduction" conundrum! I was frankly embarrassed for her.

One is compelled to wonder why they'd be included at all. They added nothing but discordancy and obfuscation. Happy homocentrics stirring the bottom of the ufological pond with manicured reductionist fingers. Happy. Happy. Happy.

Additionally, Clancy's tedious and irrelevant book on same was well pumped on the program. Budd Hopkins, also on the program, did not so much as have his books mentioned.

In the aggregate, the proponents for UFOs (...HOPKINS, MACCABEE, SWIATEK & SCHUESSLER, sounding rather like a quality law firm...) acquitted themselves adequately enough I suppose... and the King program was no ~great~ disservice to greater ufology... a general plus as said above, but there was something missing as it pertains to openness, reader, and an old, surprisingly outdated, debate was dusted off yet again and tediously prosecuted... one more time. Did you catch it when it aired? We're still doing it today.

The very title of the Larry King piece says it all in a concise impact statement. Consider the title. "UFOs... Real or Fake"! Real or fake...? Real. Fake. That seems a question abundantly if only ceremoniously, asked. It becomes as tediously as it is ludicrously asked.

New conservative re-estimations of the Drake equation (that attempted rational stab at calculating the number of intelligent species in the universe?) puts the measurement probability for a plethora of off-world intelligences, I understand, so close to 100% that the difference cannot be detectably measured. This is to say that one has a much better chance of winning the Publisher's Clearing House lottery (approaching zero) than one does betting against extraterrestrial intelligence elsewhere in the universe... Yes. We ourselves are proof, if you will, of the Drake equation's validity...

Additionally, an immutable law of the universe is that what ~can~ happen... happens. ~We~ "happened"... proving the certainty of that particular potentiality with equal assurance... What happens once... happens again. Stuff happens, that is to say. There is a rude colloquial... and may even be used with regard to us, eh? Humility is called for.

Frankly, pretending we are alone in all this boundless magnificence, forgetting that that is just ludicrous... is naive and ignorant arrogance, I expect, at best. At worst, it may be sophisticated and better-informed arrogance... a knowing arrogance... conservant arrogance knowing otherwise! An arrogance as unjustified as it is self-defeating.

"UFOs... Real or Fake"? Why, this debate has been going on since at least 1947 in a seemingly apparent attempt to preclude substantive progress on it, at all! This writer is reminded of pigs and lipstick!

"UFOs... Real or Fake"? ...Are there not six levels of quality evidence very specifically indicative that UFOs are a reality? Almost (99.999999999%>) certainty! The huge volume of extant evidence is of a quality that cannot be forever ignored... even as Seth Shostak and Susan Clancy furiously try. What's their end but propping up a failing status quo for purloined contributions?

Yes, the quality anecdotal evidence, compounded with the vetted photographic evidence, and then added to the documented historical evidence, gives every indication that a ufological contention regarding that phenomena must be more real than not... duck suspects are waddlin' and quakin'! Hoofprints may be Zebra given reports of Zebra since biblical times and by the United States Navy, today!

Moreover, when the preceding is framed by the serious artistic evidence, qualified by the available physical evidence, and then compellingly buttressed by that full-on and conclusive personal evidence (...if a reader has some as this writer does.), I can only be annoyingly astonished by the "continued reluctance of some to face the highly strange music that just cannot be forever marginalized..." 

Aren't you, reader? This writer grows tired of the old same-o shine-on.

UFOs. Does the information available justify attention by the mainstream to perform a more *in depth* investigation of UFOs? Absolutely"! ...Sagan and Shostak, hilariously, agree!

But no... strange agents ooze forth, instead, periodically... to re-prosecute the unsolved skeptibunky case of yesteryear! Low fruit! These furiously spin the ufological reality extant in their cowardly attempt to reduce the level of ufological debate once again to its tiresome starting point! Real or Fake, indeed.

Their goal, reader, is to re-achieve an old, outdated, and tediously outrageous level of pre-discussion... re-discussing the (...thoroughly discredited!) possibility... that UFOs are likely something safely prosaic and certainly other than evidence of some significant alternative (off-planet!) intelligence. Yes.

"UFOs... Real or Fake"? Does the reader see how that suggestive statement brings the level of debate back to the decades-old, and very tedious, level of *conceivable deniability*? In other words... That it is somehow still very, very possible, boys and girls... that UFOs... may not... exist at all! ...Everybody draws a deeper, if fallaciously inaccurate, breath!

"UFOs... Real or Fake"? "There is no 'proof', you know, even as there may be some evidence for a ufological reality..." I paraphrase.

"UFOs... Real or Fake"? "Mind you, UFOs and aliens might exist, but no proof has been uncovered in over 50 years that this is so..." I paraphrase.

"UFOs... Real or Fake"? "~We~ are the only *proof* of intelligence in the whole of the universe..."

I paraphrase.

...Oh... so comforting, eh?

The preceding, frankly, is what we must move beyond. Yes... first we must get passed the level of the remotest denial in a discussion of UFOs, as the denial of UFOs cannot have the remotest validity given the work, research, and tight explication of a host of quality ufologists and researchers... forgetting the obvious inability of that well-funded opposition to discredit them! We must admit (and otherwise cop to) the aforementioned and ponderous volume (Six levels!) of evidence that exists regarding the ufological reality extant (...handily destroying or compromising every effort to make UFOs 'disappear' over many, many years...)!

We must demand official forthcoming-ness with regard to funded and open investigations, investigations both international and cross-cultural in scope (...and generations of corporate scofflaws can pay for it!)!

We must face our well facilitated and crippling fear cultivated by those unwilling to cop to UFOs... (Shostak and Clancy et al) step forward to, and embrace, the future! Not step back to a pie-in-the-sky past that only existed in a skeptibunker's spotty imagination, cowardly intellectualism, and suspect politics... anyway!

So, reader! High marks to Larry King for once seriously broaching the subject in "prime time," but minimal approbations are in order for having the same desultory dialogue dispensed on "Larry King Live" as from Frank Scully and Long John Nebel in the more justifiable ignorance of the '50s, so long ago. 

That ignorance, reader, is no longer, remotely, justifiable. Read on.