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The NY Times goes all ephemeral on our buttz


J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I don't like it. Here's why:

fair·y tale (plural fair·y ta·les) noun

1. story about fairies: a story for children about fairies or other imaginary beings and events, often containing a moral message.
2. unlikely explanation: an improbable invented account of something, often a false excuse.

- Encarta

Flying saucers aren't simply "stories for children", nor are they "imaginary", nor are they a "false excuse". Referring to flying saucers as such is using loaded language which diminishes the real and serious nature of the UFO phenomenon. It's also a tactic skeptics have often used during my debates with them, and I find it prejudicial and condescending. It's fine for Vallée to draw parallels for the sake of intellectual discussion, but parallels to fictional accounts and imaginary tales do not negate the reality of the phenomenon.


Paranormal Adept
Well said.

Whilst i don't dismiss the idea that certain folktales might be describing the same phenomena with the limited lexicon of their day , I find this sort of article uses that to marginalize those with an interest in the genre by trivializing it.

Fairy tales are for children, the immature. By confabulating UFO's with elves and fairy's it creates a false narrative that those with an interest in UFO's haven't grown out of such childish notions.

Its akin to creating a metaset that includes a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and noahs ark.

One is a real technological thing, the other is a silly story. Both refer to boats.

An elf (plural: elves) is a type of human-shaped supernatural being in Germanic mythology and folklore. In medieval Germanic-speaking cultures, elves seem generally to have been thought of as beings with magical powers and supernatural beauty, ambivalent towards everyday people and capable of either helping or hindering them.[1] However, the details of these beliefs have varied considerably over time and space, and have flourished in both pre-Christian and Christian cultures.

The word elf is found throughout the Germanic languages and seems originally to have meant 'white being'. Reconstructing the early concept of an elf depends largely on texts, written by Christians, in Old and Middle English, medieval German, and Old Norse. These associate elves variously with the gods of Norse mythology, with causing illness, with magic, and with beauty and seduction.

After the medieval period, the word elf tended to become less common throughout the Germanic languages, losing out to alternative native terms like zwerc ("dwarf") in German and huldra ("hidden being") in Scandinavian languages, and to loan-words like fairy (borrowed from French into all the Germanic languages). Still, beliefs in elves persisted in the early modern period, particularly in Scotland and Scandinavia, where elves were thought of as magically powerful people living, usually invisibly, alongside everyday human communities. They continued to be associated with causing illness and with sexual threats.

Now that could be a description of the alleged ET's that are now part of modern lore, But it contains no real scientific detail.
I don't think its the phenomena that has evolved and changed, i think its our lexicon. Our toolkit of words and scientific concepts that's changed.

Maybe the tictac shaped object, white and flying with characteristics very similar to Tinkerbell's was indeed the Toothfairys runabout. :D

But its pretty low on my list as orders of probability go .



J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Still like it...
I like that the article has been brought to our attention by @Wade, but I see no reason to like the idea of equating flying saucers with fairy tales. That didn't seem to me to be Vallée's intent with his work. So I see these sorts of articles as self-serving misrepresentations of both Vallée and ufology. Why would you like that? Or perhaps the better question would be: What relatively objective reasons makes it worth liking?