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Old Guys Arguing

SolarSailor

Skilled Investigator
Hey guys,

This might be a bit of a contentious post, I'm 29 and I wouldn't say I am a researcher per se, I do however read a lot on the subject, books, forums as well as listening to numerous podcasts (paracast is my favourite for the critical thinking) but what I do read and hear a lot across numerous platforms is old guys arguing about other old guys. Do you think this is a barrier to youth wanting to break into the field? This isn't a dig at anyone in particular, it just seems that some of the old guard have put so much time into UFOlogy over the years that a lot of work and counter work has become personal, to the point that whenever a new claim is made, instead of the evidence being evaluated first, there is some amount of character assassination.
(I realise I myself am no longer a 'yout' especially when I hit 30 next month)
 
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Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
In many ways it's a function of life in the digital era. It's so easy now to blow up minor moments, or get contentious with each other online and create the flare ups. There are other basic threads at play as well. When you look at the history of the debate, or search, to identify critical theories in the field we are still hanging on to older, unresolved themes: Roswell (currently a sliding circus), MJ12, gov't coverup & the saga of the disclosure movement, ETH or not ETH etc. In the age of UFOlogical & illogical blogging everyone has a broadcast point from hardcore debunker to true blue believers. It's easy, with so many voices at play, to get into a fracas. It's more about personality than the event.

And because of this, whether anyone recognizes it or not, it is still the wild, wild west filled with radical outlaws and self-proclaimed sheriffs. There is no real school of critical thought, or direct descendents of James E. - no one can claim authority or provide real direction, as there is no designated, legitmate, connected sphere of critical thought taking place. It's a democratic field day of infighting, camps, supporters and self-destruction. It has, for the most part, become a very sociological study, a discussion of the aftermath of the event as opposed to a critical examination of the phenomenon itself, the "Roswell slides" being a very good example of this.

I would think that most critical discussion is happening in online fragments and in underground groups that are not really sharing publically what they know. Consequently, what you are expressing is a very valid observation. MUFON has Hollywood in its sights and there is little room for boots on the ground investigation. Those agencies that are data driven, as opposed to speculation driven, are given little if any notice.
 

Charlie Prime

Paranormal Adept
...whenever a new claim is made, instead of the evidence being evaluated first, there is some amount of character assassination.
You are really talking about two different things.

Decades are required to really master or become an expert in any field of study, be it history, martial arts, botany, or motorcycle racing. New entrants to the field often propose ideas that have already been explored, but the new entrants don't know that. You may be running into a lot of that.

The flip side of this is that when a new entrant proposes a novel idea that is valid, the calcified experts in the field almost always shoot it down without fair consideration.

Regarding character assasination, 90% of that is merely ye olde Ad Hominem logical fallacy which lazy and/or ignorant people delight in using. The other 10% is probably justified criticism of the person's character.
 

SolarSailor

Skilled Investigator
Decades are required to really master or become an expert in any field of study, be it history, martial arts, botany, or motorcycle racing. New entrants to the field often propose ideas that have already been explored, but the new entrants don't know that. You may be running into a lot of that.
To be honest, I don't really converse all that much in the investigative circles, I prefer to, for the most part keep my eyes and ears open and my mouth shut so personally I haven't had any of that in my direction. It's some of the seasoned vets that seem to love bickering with each other. That's my take on it anyway. I'm not pointing fingers, it just comes across as a bitchy world to get into.
 

Charlie Prime

Paranormal Adept
It's some of the seasoned vets that seem to love bickering with each other.
Ha! That is certainly the usual case.

I am a newbie to the study of esoterica and the paranormal, but there are two things I am expert in as a result of 30 years of study; martial arts and political science. I have advanced degrees in both.

What you say is true. When old experts argue about martial arts or political science, it's always about boring-azz minutia that to the casual observer seems hardly worth one's time to argue about, and often it is! :)
 
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boomerang

Paranormal Adept
Solar, your topic is a timely one and has been the subject of discussion here on numerous occasions. Because you do have a point.

Something about the UFO phenomenon tends to stick in the craw, neither digesting nor allowing itself to be purged over a lifetime of Mulder-like search for the truth. I think this stems from the insoluble and tricksterish nature of the phenomenon itself. It is not amenable to--as Greg Bishop says--our usual rules of evidence. And yet it refuses to be ignored. So a kind of frustration may set in over a lifetime of research.

The nature of the UFO itself virtually sets the stage for long term bickering amongst the truth obsessed. Difficulty admitting we still don't know squat has also engendered a plethora of self-styled gurus--most well meaning but some just looking for a wave to ride. Good investigators (such as Gene, Chris and Greg Bishop) use the phenomenon as a launching pad for mind expanding discussion. Others peddle time-worn arguments based on a pet premise. I sense the second category ( the John Lears and Stephen Greers) being slowly replaced by the first. A good thing.
 

Wade

FeralNormal master
[QUOTE="boomerang, post: 216341, member: 3872" ( the John Lears and Stephen Greers) being slowly replaced by the first. A good thing.[/QUOTE]

John Lears and Stephen Greers ???
Good Lord in Heaven you mean there are more than one of these fellows lurking around?
 

boomerang

Paranormal Adept
[QUOTE="boomerang, post: 216341, member: 3872" ( the John Lears and Stephen Greers) being slowly replaced by the first. A good thing.
John Lears and Stephen Greers ???
Good Lord in Heaven you mean there are more than one of these fellows lurking around?[/QUOTE]

Yep. but probably no more that rhyme with "Lears" and "Greers". :rolleyes:
 

hecticXx

Skilled Investigator
i believe with alot of people it gets to a point where some of us feel particularly specialized in a smaller niche within the field, and when one senses another stepping into his own little 'spot' he's laid claim to, it then becomes somewhat personal. especially when someone else has different views or evidence speaking otherwise of what one believes. this is easier to fall victim to than we like to believe. it is very easy to get mad at someone who eats your food, it is something else entirely to offer him his fill. i find it refreshing to study differing viewpoints from my own, they get dusty, old. change is always welcome with me, i want to learn more. yea, there are alot of guys arguing with each other in paranormal radio. i won't go so far as to totally discredit people, with the exception of a few. those few are those who completely lose their composure when put 'under the gun', in a sense. that's the beauty of radio, guys don't get to proofread their replies like they do on the forums here or elsewhere. for instance, when gene and chris ask a guest a question that hits hard at whatever it is they're trying to say is real or happening, some guys come in with evidence, some guys completely freak out. it's all a character thing i think. take from it what you will, i too would find it nice to see some bickering stop.
 

SolarSailor

Skilled Investigator
I am all for asking the hard hitting questions, after all that is what research is about. I just get a bit jaded by bickering and people being possessive over their area of "expertise". To me that suggests the researcher isn't in it for the right reasons. Scientific study should be questioned and expanded upon with the hope of finding some sort of quantifiable result. Perhaps there needs to be some paradigm shift in the ufology communities ethos, instead of the "I have the smoking gun but no one is going to see it for another 5 years" the community should work on transparency into investigations. After all, people are always crying out for transparency from the government, right?

Will we ever get to the stage where someone really does have credible hard hitting evidence and peers dismiss it as another "smoking gun" stunt? It is good to hear you guys thoughts on the matter, and I am grateful for the courteous and honest replies to this thread. It was just something niggling at me, and I felt I needed to see what other peoples thoughts were.

Cheers :)
 

hecticXx

Skilled Investigator
I am all for asking the hard hitting questions, after all that is what research is about. I just get a bit jaded by bickering and people being possessive over their area of "expertise". To me that suggests the researcher isn't in it for the right reasons. Scientific study should be questioned and expanded upon with the hope of finding some sort of quantifiable result. Perhaps there needs to be some paradigm shift in the ufology communities ethos, instead of the "I have the smoking gun but no one is going to see it for another 5 years" the community should work on transparency into investigations. After all, people are always crying out for transparency from the government, right?

Will we ever get to the stage where someone really does have credible hard hitting evidence and peers dismiss it as another "smoking gun" stunt? It is good to hear you guys thoughts on the matter, and I am grateful for the courteous and honest replies to this thread. It was just something niggling at me, and I felt I needed to see what other peoples thoughts were.

Cheers :)
i completely agree. people lose credibility over time, and that is how this society works. that is something good to be said of us. alot of us have the innate ability to discern between those who are genuine, and credible, and those who are just not up to snuff. someone comes up spewing non-sense enough times, and we immediately disregard them as soon as they show their face. 'the boy who cried wolf' comes to mind. except sometimes it's done for reasons much more deceptive. one of the biggest downfalls of this field is the conman. some people see a 'get rich quick' scheme in all of this. luckily, guys like us on this forum, and Gene and Chris, are here to regulate and inform.
 

SheaOlmsford

Paranormal Adept
I am all for asking the hard hitting questions, after all that is what research is about. I just get a bit jaded by bickering and people being possessive over their area of "expertise". To me that suggests the researcher isn't in it for the right reasons. Scientific study should be questioned and expanded upon with the hope of finding some sort of quantifiable result. Perhaps there needs to be some paradigm shift in the ufology communities ethos, instead of the "I have the smoking gun but no one is going to see it for another 5 years" the community should work on transparency into investigations. After all, people are always crying out for transparency from the government, right?

Will we ever get to the stage where someone really does have credible hard hitting evidence and peers dismiss it as another "smoking gun" stunt? It is good to hear you guys thoughts on the matter, and I am grateful for the courteous and honest replies to this thread. It was just something niggling at me, and I felt I needed to see what other peoples thoughts were.

Cheers :)
The point is that some researchers feel that they have found the answer and the truth. Consequently, when someone else comes along with a new fangled theory, this will naturally upset someone who has devoted 40 years to their own theory, which they may feel they have proven to be true. Someone like Stanton Friedman seems to be in a Siamese Twin relationship with the nuts & bolts theory of aliens from another planet visiting Earth. This is his REALITY. Disturbing someone's reality is a dangerous thing to do, like poking a lion with a stick. This is not specific to "old" people. Many fundamentalist Christians of all ages will react with great verbal and emotional violence if their dogma is threatened. No one wants to feel like they are on slippery ground, and that they have devoted their lives to a creed or [ufo] dogma that may be wrong. And lets get crass here. So called professional ufologists on the conference circuit have a lot to lose financially if ufology take a 90 degree turn and leaves them with a load of dusty books no one wants to purchase! Frankly, I tend to enjoy the feuds and battles in ufology, watching as I am safely from the sidelines. I at times find them quite amusing and entertaining. These feuds are ufology's version of the soap opera DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

Update: Such feuds certainly are more interesting than the constant regurgitation of cases that occurred back in the 1960's 1970's and 1980's, to say nothing of Roswell. Sometmes I think ufology's greatest days are over, since so much of the hubbub is still focused on Rendlesham and other cases from long ago.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
Age and experience doesn't mean you can't change your ways, though. Towards the end of his life, Dr. J. Allen Hynek was moving towards a more "4D" approach to UFO sourcing. Had he lived a bit longer, no telling where he might have ended up with those concepts.
 

Stagger Lee

Paranormal Adept
One of the things I find most interesting about Hynek, was how he went from a no nonsense skeptic to the realization that the phenom was real. I wonder how many folks out there would also change their views and realize there is a genuine mystery if they took the time to look over many of the project blue books "unknowns" -of course, there are those so invested in religion they would turn a blind eye to a disk crashing into their living room. And also the likes of the Klass' and Moody's who would spend every waking moment inserting themselves into an investigation while foaming at the mouth.
 

SolarSailor

Skilled Investigator
SolarSailor, being a younger guy what brought about your strong interest in UFOs?
When I was a teen, maybe 13 - 14 I was in the car with my parents and older sister, in Whitehaven, England. A small town I grew up in down the road from Sellafield Nuclear power plant. It was a summer day and we were on the way back from a day out in the Lake District when my dad, quite near to our house, pulled the car over and pointed out a black triangle shaped craft, silent and stationary in the sky. I remember it spun roughly 120 degrees on its own axis and shot off, no noise, nothing. I can't tell you how high up it was, but it wasn't low flying. Which makes me believe it was quite a size. How big? I cannot accurately say as there was no real point of reference. After that I got interested in UFO's and with my parents saw what we believed to be UFO's a couple of times as balls of light. Mainly on really dark clear nights (my dad used to drive us out to the mountains where we would have sandwiches, visit ancient neolithic stone circles and look at constellations, really miss those perfectly dark clear skies now that I live in a city).

I started reading books on UFO's and found that Cumbria has quite a lot of activity there (in my teen years Sellafield was producing enriched uranium which I think could be a possible link). I also lived not to far away from the Solway Firth which of course is where the photograph of the "Solway Firth Spaceman" was taken. My parents weren't big ufologists but my dad as a policeman who worked in the country side had some weird sightings when working night shift, he never said it was aliens and is a very calm, logical and level headed person, very much the old school copper (he even had the moustache).

So in a nutshell, I had a sighting of a black triangle, a couple of balls of light and the area had quite a few UFO stories kicking around. I have no idea what UFO's are, I only really started looking into the subject again in the last few years but the triangle sighting never left me.
 


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