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October 28, 2018 — Chris Rutkowski

Merchandise that’s just out of this world!

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
Yet another terrific episode featuring a skilled Fortean researcher with extensive experience, as he outlines his annual survey of Canadian UFO reports and other topics.

This was yet another episode that ended too soon, so we invited Chris to stay on for this weekend's episode of After The Paracast.

It's an exclusive feature of The Paracast+. For more information, please check Introducing The Paracast+ | The Paracast — The Gold Standard of Paranormal Radio
 

MTI Marketing

Paranormal Business Executive
Great freewheeling episode, between Chris, J. Randall and Gene. I especially enjoyed thinking about who might now be considered the reigning "(scientific) Grand/Godfather of UFOlogy" now that Stanton Friedman has retired. I think a top 10 (or 5) list might be interesting insofar as nominations. Such a list would need to include active members/researchers of the community, or at least "past masters" of the community, with a lot of firsthand research under his/her belt, a good working knowledge of case history, and able to nimbly defend and debate the "Nasty, Noisy Negativists" that would quickly enter the queue to cast aspersions on anyone that assumes the mantle/is nominated. Personally, I think that Greg Bishop would have to be on such a list--and that a core group covering all the paranormal "arts and sciences" might be a better idea. Loren Coleman comes to mind for cryptozoology, Christopher O'Brien for cattle mutilations, etc.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Great freewheeling episode, between Chris, J. Randall and Gene. I especially enjoyed thinking about who might now be considered the reigning "(scientific) Grand/Godfather of UFOlogy" now that Stanton Friedman has retired. I think a top 10 (or 5) list might be interesting insofar as nominations. Such a list would need to include active members/researchers of the community, or at least "past masters" of the community, with a lot of firsthand research under his/her belt, a good working knowledge of case history, and able to nimbly defend and debate the "Nasty, Noisy Negativists" that would quickly enter the queue to cast aspersions on anyone that assumes the mantle/is nominated. Personally, I think that Greg Bishop would have to be on such a list--and that a core group covering all the paranormal "arts and sciences" might be a better idea. Loren Coleman comes to mind for cryptozoology, Christopher O'Brien for cattle mutilations, etc.
The challenge is mainly in finding someone with verifiable scientific credentials combined with adequate knowledge and experience in ufology. There might be someone in the SCU: https://www.explorescu.org/, but I tend to challenge the idea that scientific credentials can provide greater insight into ufology than a ufologist who has studied the subject for years, understands basic scientific principles, and has learned to apply them along with critical thinking. In other words, why should a botanist be considered an authority on UFOs any more than a physicist should be expected to be an authority on neurology? There's a false sense of authority in academic credentials when it comes to the field of ufology. What it needs is its own faculty of study within an accredited academic institution.
 

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
Personally, I think that Greg Bishop would have to be on such a list--and that a core group covering all the paranormal "arts and sciences" might be a better idea.
I would be interested to hear you expand on paranormal arts and science and what is it you think Greg brings to the table in this discussion that is unique and fruitful for further investigation.
 

MTI Marketing

Paranormal Business Executive
Ultimately, I think a round table approach would be best--a "panel" if you will. Scientific credentials are good, but they don't replace an adult lifetime of "skeptical beliverhood" like Greg has--he might be better described as a skeptic that "wants to believe." But, he's interviewed and spoken with thousands of researchers and firsthand witnesses, some "experiencers"... and I like his "I wish I'd see that!" mentality (after I described a recent sighting to him). There are a lot of possible candidates that might be good for such a panel--but I think someone that's "read all the books" like Mr. Blink-182 might not be appropriate, especially since it's certainly possible that "they" might be telling him what they want him to hear. I can see the case for someone like him being as good as anyone else to carry the message, it just seems unlikely.

Someone that's done active research, like COB, and especially if his SLV project gets funded and up and running, seems like a good candidate for such a panel, also. It might even be important for such a panel to exist, in case the govt. or factions within or whichever sub-contractors that HAVE information decide it's time to play straight with the American people--let's just say people in general--Greg has a good BS detector and is smart and has a lot of experience. He's able to suss out how much is too much, and in general is willing to suspend disbelief when it serves him to do so. I think it's important to have people around his age with as much experience as he has, in different areas, to be part of an official panel nominated and asked to serve on such a body from the UFOlogy side rather than the government side--as Condon, the Air Force, etc. have either had their minds made up against or were set against sharing true unknowns with the public from the start.

Still, it's important who does the nominating. Such a body is worthless if the people that man it (or woman it?) are either too easy to believe everything they hear (you can fill in your own blank), or if those doing the nominating are likewise too credulous and don't have a thick, black line past which they will not cross without extraordinary evidence. Plus, it seemed like an interesting topic to get some opinions around. I thought forum posters would have some interesting ideas about selections... it seems like, for every candidate I can think of that would be appropriate, someone else might offer good reason why they wouldn't be. Even in a person's career--take Jacques Vallee, for example--since his first books until today, he's changed his mind on just about everything--and back. And, Dr. Hynek, while he was supposed to be eschewing the topic for the Air Force, by the time he'd amassed enough data, he'd changed his mind after going out into the field and seeing the evidence for himself--and, although "astronomers are almost always astronomically wrong,' as Uncle Stan has said, Hynek did become an expert on the subject.

As to the paranormal arts and sciences, it's been discussed on the show recently, and on others, that many aspects of differing phenomena sometimes tend to mimic others, e.g. UFOs sometimes display what we might think of as poltergeist phenomena, there are often bigfoot sightings nearby where UFOs have been seen, almost as if the "aliens let the dog go walkies" while they're here, etc. From hauntings to remote viewing, there are cases of considerable overlap. Even crop circle makers (the string and log type--you know, human) will report seeing lights that dance about and come and go strangely, and later their circles occasionally display characteristics of "genuine" ones; exhibiting nodes in the plants that act as if they've been affected by microwave radiation, and soil samples from within show higher radiation signatures than those from without.

There does seem to be a "trickster" element that both COB and Greg describe, and the entire field of study can be so absurd that it begs the question, "Why bother report it?" And yet, even the high weirdness cases ARE reported. My own recent sighting was so patently absurd that I didn't report it to the UFORC, but I did report what was certainly a helicopter with an abundance of strobe lights on it--just so if someone had seen it from further away than directly underneath it, it would serve to help make sense of their sighting. And the co-creation hypothesis of Greg's does seem to make sense... if there weren't someone there to "show off" to--would it still occur? Many sightings seem to be a display put on for the sake of the witness(es), whereas others may not have known they had an audience--or cared. Anyway, this isn't anything you haven't already heard--I'm not doing any mental gymnastics here, just trying to better lay out my thoughts. And, since I have--do you have any better idea of who you might nominate as candidates for a panel of "experts" to serve for, say, the next 20 years?
 

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