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What Would a Paracast UFO/Paranormal Conference Look Like?



Christopher O'Brien

Back in the Saddle Aginn
Staff member
#1
We recently received the following email from a listener:

"Why don't you folks hold a 'Para-Conference' (sic) where only credible speakers and evidence will be allowed. Stop complaining about silly conferences that have less than credible persons speaking and set the precedence by hosting a conference that is beyond reproach!

If anyone is going to do it and 'separate the signal from the noise' it is you guys. As we used to say in the ARMY, 'make it happen'."

Hmm. Interesting idea. What should this event look like? Strictly a UFO conference? W/ a dash or dollop of the Fortean? Something ufological but based in quality scientific work — like an event the SSE should feature? Or, (my vote :cool:) a conference totally out-of-the-box and in yer face? I'd imagine something that stretched from consciousness studies to optical physics, quantum physics w/ stops at UFOs, cryptocreatures, OOPARTS, trickster/synchronistic inexplicability, the interpretation of "unexplained" as reflected in religious belief, the role of media and the resulting cultural bias around belief in "the paranormal," Heh-heh I like that idea... Do you have any ideas space fanz?
 

Wade

FeralNormal master
#5
I'm all for the inclusion of everything after the dollop part, (and add fallsfromskies) as far as who to exclude would be a different matter,this whole field is full of investigators with mixed alliances of conveience and fragmented belief systems. Those examples posted above are probably not far from the truth and would only provide fodder for the debunkers and alienate those considering testing the waters. Like Obi-wan told young Luke before they stepped into Mos Eisley Spaceport " You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious. "

The problem in part is I think this whole seperating signal from the noise is a thankless task, and those who try this can't have weak egos or be insecure given that they themselves who offer a signal are looked upon as fringe in some quarters. it's all a matter of degrees. If I remember correctly in the AM 10khz bandwidth about 1.5 kHz is signal the rest is carrier (noise) that's a lot of noise to cut through. Maybe the paracast could offer ssb.
 

Goggs Mackay

Administrator
Staff member
#12
I'm all for the inclusion of everything after the dollop part, (and add fallsfromskies) as far as who to exclude would be a different matter,this whole field is full of investigators with mixed alliances of conveience and fragmented belief systems. Those examples posted above are probably not far from the truth and would only provide fodder for the debunkers and alienate those considering testing the waters. Like Obi-wan told young Luke before they stepped into Mos Eisley Spaceport " You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious. "

The problem in part is I think this whole seperating signal from the noise is a thankless task, and those who try this can't have weak egos or be insecure given that they themselves who offer a signal are looked upon as fringe in some quarters. it's all a matter of degrees. If I remember correctly in the AM 10khz bandwidth about 1.5 kHz is signal the rest is carrier (noise) that's a lot of noise to cut through. Maybe the paracast could offer ssb.
Single Side Band?;)
 

Goggs Mackay

Administrator
Staff member
#13
I'd be totally up for such an event, except that it will of course be in the States!! I don't hear of too many conferences over here on UFOs except quite recently BUFORA had a birthday or something...

I think when Graham Birdsall was alive he arranged a number of events. His loss was a blow to UK ufology for sure. Did you have any dealings with Graham ever Gene?
 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
#14
Well, actually I wasn't joking. I think it's a good idea, but how would we even come to an agreement about who qualifies as a credible speaker and who doesn't?

For example: Robert Salas, Richard Dolan, Stanton Friedman IMO are very credible. But since their involvement with more questionable people (Third Phase of Fakery, Clifford "Storyteller" Stone) there is probably people on here who would consider them more of the credulous or even possible charlatan side.

Besides, as with the podcast, I would definitely want non-UFO-related lecturers, such as researchers in the Psi / NDE / reincarnation / medium research fields. But I doubt many other forum members (and show hosts) would even allow them anywhere near their definition of "credible".

Sorry, but that's what I feel. I'm not much of an optimist, I know.
 

Christopher O'Brien

Back in the Saddle Aginn
Staff member
#16
lets see..
Guest.
Peter davenport
Royce Myers III
Richard Dolen
Don and Vicki Ecker
Jacques Vallee
I'm not sure what Royce would contribute... Vallee refuses to do lowly "paranormal/UFO" conferences, unless you're a Saudi prince or a deep-pocket fat-cat like Biggie...I'm sure Don could cover a number of topics, but I'm not sure what Vicki would want to contribute.

I'd also propose adding some of the following: Myself, Ray Stanford, David Perkins, Nick Redfern, Greg Bishop, Stan Gordon, Robert Hastings, Colm Kelleher, Ron Regehr, Antonio Huneuus, Lance Moody (for the all-important skeptical viewpoint), Phyllis Budinger, Paul Deveraux... there are more than a few that come to mind...
 

Pegusta

Skilled Investigator
#17
Robert Hastings
Patrick Harpur
Christopher O´Brien
Clas Svahn
Richard Sarradet
Greg Bishop
Leslie Kean
Peter Robbins
George Knapp
Nick Redfern
Jaques Vallee
Kevin Randle

And find someone to revive the following to be added to the list of speakers:

J Allen Hynek
Carl Jung
James Mcdonald
Karl Pflock
Jim Moseley
John Alva Keel
Carl Sagan
Phillip J Klass
Terrence Mckenna

Timothy Good, Nick Pope and Richard Dolan can also participate…….if they pay the entrance fee.
 

Pegusta

Skilled Investigator
#18
Oh, and I bet Joseph Citro would make an excellent speaker.

The key I think is having a pretty diverse speakers list, with people from different areas representing different approaches and viewpoints. Bringing together nuts and bolts ufologists as well as represantatives from more alternative views on ufos , folklorists, arch sceptics, forteans, philosphers, and all sorts of people dealing with paranormal fringe topics. I think that in such a context, there should also be room for sceptical perspectives. I mean Sagan was not an idiot, neither was Klass, far from it. They were in many regards brilliant scientists. They would have brought an interesting dynamics to the mix to say the least.

I can not stand stale conferences with speakers that are all agreeing, pushing the same ideas (while simultaneously pushing books, work shops or whatever makes a buck). And after a while of listening you get the impression that the book-pushing is the most important aspect of the lecture - not the actual topic.

An ending gloves off discussion involving all the speakers bringing their views to the table would have been spectacular. And possibly even constructive.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
#20
We recently received the following email from a listener:
"Why don't you folks hold a 'Para-Conference' (sic) where only credible speakers and evidence will be allowed. Stop complaining about silly conferences that have less than credible persons speaking and set the precedence by hosting a conference that is beyond reproach!
If anyone is going to do it and 'separate the signal from the noise' it is you guys. As we used to say in the ARMY, 'make it happen'."
Hmm. Interesting idea. What should this event look like? ... Do you have any ideas space fanz?
Dear Listener,

Although I can't speak for everyone in the forum, I think it's safe to say that most of us would love nothing more than to see your suggestion become a reality. But at the same time, we don't always take ourselves too seriously, and I hope you'll forgive us if our first reaction to something so grandiose was to poke a little fun at ourselves. To address the question more seriously, your idea for a serious Para-Conference reflects the kind of idealism that although true to the heart of the matter, is far more complex to achieve in reality. For example most presenters have content that ranges from the tolerably contentious to the outright absurd, so how do we manage that? Do we limit what they can present to only that which is authorized? If we did that, then we'd be facing accusations of censorship and promoting a specific agenda. If we don't do that then we're back to a three ring circus. The closest anyone has come in a long time is the recent Citizen's Hearings on Disclosure, and even that generated plenty of mocking remarks in the mainstream media. It is my personal view that these conferences are more of a cultural phenomenon, and that although entertaining, they aren't really necessary in order to accomplish anything. Perhaps someday that will change, but that change would require a fundamental shift in the way the communities involved cooperate, not the least of which is a Chris has suggested, to paraphrase, the message is more important than who delivers it.
 

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