Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Batten Down The Hatches Old Chap – We’re Under Attack


Something to enliven the proceedings somewhat; the Pelicanists have broken into a sweat and posted twice in 2 days. This is exciting news in itself as the truth is, the two Yawns have nothing of any gravitas left to say anymore. But, they still do have a role to play in the theatre of Ufology and its true we're not far from the panto season and so, when they feel everyone is ignoring them and they need some love and attention, they don their costume of enormous Groucho style glasses (to increase the strength of their eyesight as they are adept at missing the obvious) and they get out the old ear trumpets (because they are good at turning a deaf ‘un to the obvious) and they put on their little pink mittens which pass for boxing gloves these days, and they stand there and take huge breaths and puff out there chests and then..….fall over backwards usually at this point, as it happens. Doddery old dears.

This is controversial stuff and it may make you want to scratch your ear. Steady.

Those Elusive Multiple Witnesses
http://mufob.blogspot.com/2006/10/those-elusive-multiple-witnesses.html

Uniformed Ufologists
http://mufob.blogspot.com/2006/10/uniformed-ufologists.html

Just notice by the way if you go to the web site that John Rimmer and Nigel Watson are referred to as “members”. Hmmm.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Major SETI Institute Announcement
http://www.spaceref.com/calendar/calendar.html?pid=4200

What can it be?

I speculate the following;

1. Jill Tarter is having an alien/human hybrid baby.

2. They’re having the outside of the main building repainted.

3. Uncle Seth is having the snip.

4. They’re giving up.

5. They got a signal but when they answered and got back in touch, the reply came back, “Oh you idiots? You gotta be kidding.”
In Terms of Ufological Belief................(part 1)


In terms of “Ufological belief”, that is when challenged as to what particular theory or explanation I adhere to in terms of an answer or solution to the Ufological question, I find that in contemplating that answer I am a bit of a gadfly. I flutter, I guess, like a lot of others. “Well, it could be this, it could be that” and when I range across the list of possibilities I find, much to my irritation, that I reject not a lot. Being open minded can have its problems. I yearn to be convinced of a particular line of thinking, to be so certain like Dick Hall is that it has to be nuts and bolts so that I can spit malevolent ectoplasm at the mere mention of Jacques Vallee’s name.

Having wind bagged all of the above, I do find though that I return to certain ideas as if pulled by some internal unconscious magnet and one of those ideas reared itself full and proud again this week; namely that We may have been “interfered” with over the years via our DNA. The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology based in Leipzig, Germany are reportedly due to be imminently issuing a major paper on the DNA of Neanderthals which may yet again pose significant questions about the origins of Man and how there is apparently no evolutionary explanation for the jump to Homo Sapiens. With wild eyed speculators like me around stoking things up, there may again be further attempts at resurrecting the spectre of alleged external DNA interference in the development of the human species with attending issues of Intelligent Design and so on. If ever proven true, the implications that would follow are obvious, abundant, and rather mixed.

The first one is of personal disappointment at having been such a wimp, for this concept is half a step ahead of the space brothers theory that all aliens are warm and cuddly and have only the very best of intentions towards their creation and when things get really difficult, they will descend to our rescue. True blooded Ufology involves bodies, wreckage, machinery remote locations, efficient, super fast clear ups, and mysterious deaths for years to come. These guys will flutter down like leaves dropping off a tree. Where’s the excitement?

From a practical perspective, the first and foremost event to occur will be that a substantial part of America’s bible belt will suddenly stand up, hypocritically, and ram it down everyone’s throat about how right they’d been in championing the cause of Intelligent Design. They will of course be hypocritical because although it would have to be acknowledged that in principle they are correct, in practise this was not the sort of intelligent design they had in mind. Their God does not interfere or intervene, as we all know, and has given us independent freedom of thought and action. My “God” sits in a committee room somewhere on Zeta Reticulli and makes decisions about this off planet experiment or that off planet experiment that have repercussions for hundreds if not thousands of years at a time. The Bible Belters will claim that all they ever referred to was a higher intelligence and if it happens to be what they might term “a pesky alien critter” as opposed to some all knowing spiritual non physical entity, then really it’s the same thing. As if. Just staying with that point for a moment though; I find it cruelly hysterically funny that the volume of spiritual prayer and belief and murder and warfare that has been carried out by mankind over the last few thousand years will have been done in the name of ET.

The next point I’d make, although its probably pertinent to any manner of discovery of intelligent extraterrestrial life is the affect it would have on the human psyche. The revelation that we were created by other beings would have a profound affect on our self esteem but as you would expect from the emotional tsunami of the greatest story ever told in relation to mankind, it’s not that simple. Parts of us would be deeply humbled, our dignity twisted at the realization that we are but simple insignificants in the universal league of intellectual achievement and never would we feel more able to empathise with our pets as we discover the meaning of something cleverer and bigger than us. And yet, it would almost be like stepping back into the womb in the warm, secure knowledge that something is there and it hovers over us, just keeping an eye out perhaps for a “just in case”. Though maybe not. The brief for this experiment might be, “let it go where it goes”.


Bugger, we’d be doomed.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Some animals, like Reticulians, can plan ahead


Learning by experience is a natural trait of animals that have a brain. But the learning process has many aspects and is often a challenge for scientists to study. Recent research provided evidence that some nonreticulian animals can plan for the future in a very deliberate manner.

Selecting an item in anticipation of using it later is something Reticulians do every day. Before you get in the airtran, you pick up the airtran keys. Before you leave the shelter, you grab your wallet or purse. Are any other animals able to deliberately select an item for future use? According to a series of experiments by Nicorgi J. Mulcahy and Josep Call of the Reticulian Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Arpsog, Ushtala, the answer is yes. At least some animals other than Rets can plan ahead.

Humans are an endangered species native to the planet known as Earth The species, one of a group of animals known as the great apes, has achieved a degree of notoriety because the DNA of Humans has a 98 percent overlap in similarity to that of Reticulian. This is scientific fact, so it should come as no surprise that these animals have learning capabilities that exceed those of other nonreticulian animals. Colonies of humans are kept in facilities at the Reticulian Institute for testing to learn more about the biology of these fascinating creatures.

Because the great apes are known for their intelligence, the researchers designed tests to see if humans could learn to select and transport tools to be used at a later time. In other words, could they anticipate that a particular tool would be useful in the future, even though there was no use for it at the moment?

A group of humans were led into a test room where they learned to use a plastic tool to dislodge a reward of fresh food. After the learning session, humans were taken to a waiting room with a window where they could watch as the scientists removed the tools but left intact the reward apparatus that held the food. Each human being tested was kept in the waiting room for one hour and then led back into the test room, where it was unable to get the reward because the correct tool was no longer present. But before the human was returned to the waiting room, several tools were placed in the test room. Some of the tools were suitable for getting the food and some were unsuitable. The only way for a human to get the reward of food on future trips to the test room was to pick up the proper tool when leaving, carry it to the waiting room, and then return with it to the test room.

Of six humans tested in the first experiment, all learned within seven trials to pick the correct tool and return with it to the test room. In 16 trials, one human left and returned with the correct tool 15 times. The six experimental animals left the room with a tool 70 percent of the time, and the choice of a correct tool, compared to an inappropriate tool, was made a statistically significant proportion of the time. In another experiment, one of the test animals was placed in a waiting room for 14 hours between access to the tools and its return to the feeding apparatus. This means that they would have to select a tool and keep up with it for several hours before it would be useful.

Once again, the apes excelled. The two test animals successfully carried proper tools when they left the test room in 19 of 24 trials and returned with the correct tool 15 times. Demonstrably, apes can choose, keep, and return with a tool appropriate for future use. The researchers conclude that a propensity for planning for future needs evolved at least 14 million years ago, a time when humans had a common ancestor.

With acknowledgement to The Tuscaloosanews.com

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Is it actually worth being Nick Pope?

I can kind of get what it is about Nick Pope that some people don’t care for. But he’s never really done me any harm and a sort of falling out a few months back was down more to my petulance than anything he did. But his Ufological career is not a comfortable one, he isn’t forgiven or allowed to forget past mistakes, and he has only to stick his head above the parapet for there to be a barrage of shots aimed straight at him. I do wonder at times why he bothers.

Its a few things that have stuck in people’s craw over the years but it broadly goes like this.

1. When he did his job at the UFO desk at the MoD, he was so obviously out of the real loop and his desk was just a public shop front. Yet he has constantly tried to bolster and exaggerate the significance of his role since.

2. He committed the cardinal sin of allegedly being involved in claiming to have first discovered certain files like the Rendlesham file when this was not the case and he did this at the expense of the researchers who did.

OK. The two claims are probably correct. Allegedly. But you see, Nick’s real crime is to have gone on to try to make a living or at least earn an income from Ufology while his main accusers either aren’t able to or are conflicted about it. And so we get a right bloody mess. It would be easy for me, childishly easy in fact, to pull apart piece by piece one of his main critics, namely Andy Roberts, simply because anybody with half a brain could do it. Andy makes it very easy. Dave Clark allows himself at times to get dragged into it as well and while I do acknowledge the genuine grievance they both have and the pain and outrage they have experienced over the Rendlesham affair, its now some years on and they should grow up and get over it. And in all fairness they haven’t moaned for a while now. Joe McGonagle on the other hand, who is closely associated with Clark and Roberts, continues to take every opportunity to put the boot in and to belittle Nick and it long ago got to the point where it rebounds on Joe and reflects back on him. All he is now seen as doing is attempting to humiliate Pope and it comes over as cruel and pointless.

And now Martin Shough wades in too. “Scientists” don’t do “funny” or “smart” because they’re never very good at it. Shough probably thinks it’s amusing but it comes over as the nerd taking the opportunity to gang up on another unfortunate. Martin – it makes you look pathetic and ill becomes you.

Is all this a case of the pot calling the kettle black? After all, in UFO Review I do let rip and can be quite pointed. Am I being hypocritical? I tend to hit and move on; Joe M has somewhat stuck around Pope like a maggot around a corpse. Perhaps its time to take a more subtle approach and let people work out for themselves the nuances and ironies of whatever public statements Pope makes. In essence, give the guy a break.

But whatever, Pope has the last laugh. He doesn’t need us; we need him more, at least in the UK. The media need a “go to” person and it’s him. If there is anyone else they could use, then they’re keeping themselves very well hidden. Someone that looks right, sounds right, knows how to work the media even if he ends up talking rubbish and has a bit of glamour attached. Oh, and who also doesn’t sound like some dribbling half wit when he speaks; Pope’s our man.

If he relied on “the community” for his income, he’d have gone broke a very long time ago. We’re irrelevant to him. The general public are his target and his income comes from books, the press and TV appearances. If he misses the odd speaking engagement, for which he almost certainly isn’t going to get paid anyway, then so what.

Bugger it; keep going Joe and Martin.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Pelican Roast.

I offer this up partly as a serious whine, partly as light relief, and partly as a chance to take a verbal shiv to a pelicanist and to shove it up into his squawking gut.

Those of you who have been awake will have noticed a few days ago the following posting on various Lists:

Magonia Supplement #62

The latest issue of Magonia Supplement blah, blah, blah,

John Rimmer reports on a recent UFO conference at which he was one of the speakers, and blah, blah, blah

http://www.users.waitrose.com/~magonia/ms62.htm

I always take an interest in the Lapis conference partly because I have a lot of respect for the Walkey's who I think consistently use their imagination to good effect in constructing a speaker list - most of the time. I was also aware after the event that, like my own conference a bit further south a week or so earlier, it had been poorly attended.

As I started to read Rimmer's report of the conference held (please note Kimball) near Blackpool and his valiant excursion away from the capital, I soon found myself reaching for a bucket as an overwhelming sense of nausea began to rise up in my craw. Using every conceivable hoary old cliche to patronise, the reader is left marvelling at what a courageous man Mr. Rimmer is to dare venture out of the safety and security of "the south" and emerge into the wild and uncivilised barren wastelands of "the north" where, any southerner spotted by a local is likely to be speared, gutted, and hoisted on to some sort of petard and then paraded around as a sporting trophy.

OK, so he's a big girls blouse but what don't we know? And then this. I offer intermittent translation:

"I suppose I have to say something about my own contribution, in which I tried to position Warminster as the centre of a peculiarly English UFO and contactee narrative, quite separate from the American, which has tended to obliterate the native tradition of the last thirty years."

That's because the native tradition is shit John. People aren't particularly interested in eccentric folk standing on top of hills and speaking in flowery language. They want bodies, wreckage, and machinery. And why not I say.

"This was also the theme of Dewey and Ries's book, and along with Andy Roberts's recent articles in Magonia, and a forthcoming book he has co-authored with Dave Clarke, we may be seeing something of a rediscovery of the English UFO tradition."

Err, I think you mean English scepticism surely? You are an old devil of a folklorist, aren't you. Is there a difference John between "the English UFO tradition" (wtfti) and folklore and if so, could you explain it to me in less than 100 words with not more than 3 syllables in any of them? Bet you can't. By chance, does it involve whittling or furtling or speaking with a straw sticking out of your ear, or better still, assissting young boys in outdoor pursuits?

"It was a hot weekend, and although the hall looked pretty full to me, there were not as many attendees at the conference of the organisers had hoped. However, I was encouraged by the news that another north of England conference, boasting alleged big name speakers, some from America, managed to attract an audience of nine!"

Ah! The crux. There is so much in this last paragraph that I almost do not know where to begin. We have spitefulness, maliciousness, low self esteem, jealousy, bigotry, racism, disingenuousness, in fact I'm getting very giddy with it all.

Which other conference could he possibly have been referring to? Well, a few weeks before mine, back in May, Paraquest had held their conference up in Sale in Manchester. But that had been reasonably well attended and there were certainly no Americans on that agenda. By a process of elimination, and of course dear old Occam's, he just had to be referring to my effort. But wait; there were no Americans on my roster of speakers either. There was Paul Kimball and its true that Paul is an Americanophile but he is also a Canadian and proud of it. But perhaps its all the same to you John because after all, they all look alike don't they?

Methinks John is away with the faeries, poor chap.

Next point - excuse seeking for the fact that the conference was poorly attended. "It was a hot weekend". Nah John, that had nothing to do with it. What it did have to do with was that you were speaking and folk just couldn't bare the thought of having to sit through some dry, dull, dreary monologue that would have had them reaching for smelling salts just to stay conscious, let alone awake. You're an amnesiac's dream.

As for actual figures of attendance John, mine is bigger than yours. Andy Roberts, trying to be nasty to me on another mailing list recently, alleged there were 30 people at my do. A sober, reliable, and objective individual known to me, who was in the audience at Lapis, advised me there were just 20 people present at St. Annes. Deny it - go on.

Scuttle back down to the sovereignty of Putney John, to your own little world where acolytes come and pay homage, where your shoes are licked clean by labotomised automatons who think its the height of chic to walk into WH Smiths and be seen mincing down Putney High street carrying a copy of the Facetious Times. But don't venture up here into the land of the savages again John. Or we'll eat you.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Arthur; Who Art Thou?

It’s not often that there is much to laugh about in Ufology, what with it being a serious subject ‘n all, yet there is something going on over in Blogsville that is making me wet myself.

About a couple of weeks ago a new blog started up called Update UFO UpDates at
http://noconnectiontotherealthing.blogspot.com/. Some guy called Arthur has set himself up as an anonymous commentator on the comings and goings at UFO UpDates or, as he puts it, “A snide swipe bitch fest at some of the characters and threads” on that List. And he seems to be pissing people off. It’s not that his observations are that acidic or cruel or even for that matter, relevant but it seems to have elicited a very amusing assortment of reactions.

The first thing that seems to be getting people’s goats is his anonymity. Why does he have to hide behind an obvious nom de plume? So there has been a little debate about who he is with accusations flying around and one or two people seemingly getting quite upset when the finger has been pointed at them. Why, even I have been “accused” of being Arthur by one friend. For the record, no, it’s not me. And no, I have no idea who it is either and no real suspicions. I’m sure though it will get out one day because it always does. And as it’s likely to be someone we’ve never heard of before, what an anti climax that will then be.

Then, in further pursuit of his identity, the observation was made that the background color scheme to the blog was pink and therefore “Arthur” might well be a woman.

But what particularly tickles me is that he just carries on regardless. There are all these negative remarks in his comments section and a whole separate subterranean eco system of activity going on akin to the blog which he seems to just ignore. I find I cannot help but admire him and suspect that he is sat back laughing at the whole murky business. Personally, I think he’s on to something and I wish I’d thought of it! Whoever you are pal, you can write about me anytime you like!

Friday, June 23, 2006

We’ve got this wrong


Space.com has just published a not very interesting piece on UFOs (
http://tinyurl.co.uk/3o27). But a significant event occurred for me as I read it. It was one of those experiences where you might read something many times over the years and then for some reason you read it once more and it suddenly takes on a different perspective. I am referring to this paragraph from the piece:

And after all those years, as the saying goes, UFOs remain a riddle inside a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Why so? For one, the field is fraught with hucksterism. It's also replete with blurry photos and awful video. But then there are also well-intentioned and puzzled witnesses

It was the reference to hucksterism that did it and it was probably because I was reading this within what might loosely be called a scientific framework, namely the Space.com web site. And I thought, “You steaming hypocrite”.

To be fair to Leonard David, the author, if you were to ask any Ufologist if this was an accurate statement, to a man or woman they would all agree. They would agree without even giving the matter any serious thought. We know it to be true because…….well it is, and because we’re always being reminded it’s true by our more learned and experienced elders. Hucksterism appeared the very moment Ufology appeared in the shape of the triumvirate of Scully/Newton and Dr. G and it went on to produce a prodigious list of successors. So we take the matter for granted and never give it any real serious thought, because it’s easier that way.

But two points come to mind. The first is that in the strict sense, it isn’t true. Ufology attracted, almost from the very beginning, a slimy collection of dysfunctional, lying, arrogant, smarmy, stupid, utterly revolting reptiles masquerading as men doing the honourable and decent thing in the defence of their marvellous country; namely Rick Doty and his crew. And in the course of protecting their country from the scourge of whatever enemy they dreamed up in their chronic little minds, they played with Ufology as a cat plays with a mouse. So they put out lies and blackmailed or coerced others to do the same. This isn’t hucksterism in the sense that we mean; this is disinformation and misdirection. These people were manipulated stooges or paid informers. Sure, there have been a number of glory seeking independent individuals who have trod the path but I would argue that they have been in the minority. And I would also argue that disinfo plants don’t count.

On the other hand, it might be helpful to take a gander at The Saviour Of Ufology, namely science, to see what’s happened there, safe in the knowledge that it is a subject that will have only been lightly brushed by any “official” meddling. But oh dear, what do we find when we look? Google Withdrawn scientific papers and watch as 7,530,000 hits come up. Then Google UFO Hucksters and stand back aghast as 900 hits appear. Tsk tsk; seems science is riddled with lying, cheating bastards who wish to deceive the public, their employers and anything else with a pulse. So let’s take that paragraph I quoted above and play with just some of the words from a scientific context:

And after all those years, as the saying goes, science remains a riddle inside a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Why so? For one, the field is fraught with hucksterism. It's also replete with dishonest individuals and serious financial irregularities. But then there are also well-intentioned and puzzled scientists.

Seems fair and balanced to me.