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Who is the most important Ufologist?

Who is the most important Ufologist?

  • John Keel

    Votes: 11 30.6%
  • Rchard Dolan

    Votes: 7 19.4%
  • Jerome Clark

    Votes: 4 11.1%
  • Jacques Vallee

    Votes: 18 50.0%
  • James E. McDonald

    Votes: 11 30.6%
  • Budd Hopkins

    Votes: 4 11.1%
  • Coral Lorenzen

    Votes: 2 5.6%
  • Stanton Friedman

    Votes: 7 19.4%
  • J. Allen Hynek

    Votes: 15 41.7%
  • Jim Moseley

    Votes: 2 5.6%

  • Total voters
    36

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
I know this will be problematic as I could not include the entire list I started with which was simply too many options for the poll selection which has a limit of ten. Trying to balance critical history with popularity & contemporary figures, and keep my own biases out of it, wasn't an easy proposition. I also wanted to include names that would not normally be in my own top ten i.e. alien abduction figures. Needless to say, many popular figures had to be selected out of the list with the following big names, for various reasons, left on the cutting room floor:

Aimé Michel
Mac Tonnies
Nick Redfern
Brad Steiger
Richard Hall
Donald Keyhoe
John Mack
Edward J. Ruppelt
Peter Sturrock
Whitley Strieber

Please feel free to stick it to me for excluding the above, or others, and say why - it's part of the purpose of the thread. So who do you feel is the most important ufologist whose contributions are superlative to the field and why you think so?
 

Jeff Davis

Paranormal Adept
I have two of them tied for first place. Sorry. IMPOSSIBLE to separate the right and left halves of the brain. Just does not, will not, compute. Maybe as I get more tired this evening I'll choose, but I am entertaining the question too closely to imagine dispensing either at the moment.
 

BoyintheMachine

Paranormal Maven
I would never vote in such a poll as I feel it caters to the "cult of personality" that plagues the UFO community, not to mention that anyone who even slightly researchers UFOs and who is not a debunker, is a Ufologist. It's not a word that is only reserved for those who publish books or appear on documentaries.

This said, if I had a gun held to my head I would vote for James McDonald. He was a real scientist, understanding the importance of science with regards to proving UFOs, and he paid a very hefty price. Unfortunately if he were still with us he would have left the field in the latter 1970s with the rise of UFO mysticism and Vallee. There's just no sense trying to work diligently to scientifically prove the existence of UFOs when people just want infotainment.
 

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
I would never vote in such a poll as I feel it caters to the "cult of personality" that plagues the UFO community, not to mention that anyone who even slightly researchers UFOs and who is not a debunker, is a Ufologist. It's not a word that is only reserved for those who publish books or appear on documentaries.

Yes, tension and criticism is good to move the discussion along. Thank you. If one sees the field of study as infotainment then voting for people like Steiger and Redfern, or even Streiber, depending on your perspective, might be your choice. Asking who is the most important ufologist is an important question as it helps us to understand how the 'body of ufology', that you alluded to, stands on the spectrum. How is the field of ufology to be driven if not by some type of cohesion, in some form, between the body and its leadership? Fragmentary delusion and in-fighting is the real Ufological plague. Any successful field of study requires we move out of the cult of personality that gave us such mishaps as Greer and away from the blind direction of info/enter-tainment.

This said, if I had a gun held to my head I would vote for James McDonald. He was a real scientist, understanding the importance of science with regards to proving UFOs, and he paid a very hefty price. Unfortunately if he were still with us he would have left the field in the latter 1970s with the rise of UFO mysticism and Vallee. There's just no sense trying to work diligently to scientifically prove the existence of UFOs when people just want infotainment.

In the collection there is a cross-section of history and spectrum. This way there is the demonologist, the historian, the abductee promoter, the sociologist, the social commentator, the scientist and the groundbreaker etc. all together in the list, so the body of ufology can reflect on what drives it.

Vallee is no where near as mystical as many other early figures, or even Jung. But this is not about influences in thought, like The Morning of the Magicians; it's about self-reflection, as you have done. Vallee is much more sociologist to me than mystic. But IMHO it is in fact James E. who is the type of figure the field needs more of, if it's to move towards a position of social credibility and acceptability. Does the body feel that way? Or does the body just want wild stories of invisible creatures, and what's more valuable for the field is what I want to get at.

Consequently, you might reconsider depriving James E. of his deserved vote. :cool: Yes, those are in fact Keelian blinders I'm wearing there.
 
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Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
As many complain, the field of Ufology is spinning its wheels, and is in need of a reigniting of direction and cohesion. Suffering from short-term memory, and entertainment over scientific research, the field as a whole is a lukewarm mess. Here's a more clear look, @BoyintheMachine , at how I see the current situation.

Anniversary Heaven's Gate
 

Jeff Davis

Paranormal Adept
,
Yes, tension and criticism is good to move the discussion along. Thank you. If one sees the field of study as infotainment then voting for people like Steiger and Redfern, or even Streiber, depending on your perspective, might be your choice. Asking who is the most important ufologist is an important question as it helps us to understand how the 'body of ufology', that you alluded to, stands on the spectrum. How is the field of ufology to be driven if not by some type of cohesion, in some form, between the body and its leadership? Fragmentary delusion and in-fighting is the real Ufological plague. Any successful field of study requires we move out of the cult of personality that gave us such mishaps as Greer and away from the blind direction of info/enter-tainment.



In the collection there is a cross-section of history and spectrum. This way there is the demonologist, the historian, the abductee promoter, the sociologist, the social commentator, the scientist and the groundbreaker etc. all together in the list, so the body of ufology can reflect on what drives it.

Vallee is no where near as mystical as many other early figures, or even Jung. But this is not about influences in thought, like The Morning of the Magicians; it's about self-reflection, as you have done. Vallee is much more sociologist to me than mystic. But IMHO it is in fact James E. who is the type of figure the field needs more of,if it's to move towards a position of social credibility and acceptability. Does the body feel that way? Or does the body just want wild stories of invisible creatures, and what's more valuable for the field is what I want to get at.

Apart from any specific "here and now" context, nor the sadness that some unfortunate abrasive experiences bring along the way, I just want to exclaim emphatically that this very well may be the most brilliant post I have ever read by you, IMO.

To me, the breadth of the paranormal is as predictably inextricable, as is the human mind's exceptionally deep, survival instinct driven practice of framing perceived phenomenal information into a context driven, culturally extracted informational composite, from which we draw as much cognitive meaning, as we project into the scheme of our creative imagination's interpretations. The question is, what is this aspect of nature that we continue to informationally assimilate and remanufacture via our base perceptual recognition and it's pareidolia reactive reasoning, as demonstrated by the human cognitive process throughout multiple historically specific, contextual plateaus of recorded observation?
 
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Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
I can tell you a Corel Lorenzen story or two. :)
Please do. Some tales from the early days of APRO would be exciting. It seems that the large scale UFO organization has mostly dissolved, lost their way or even lost their relevance. I'm sure in the era of the Lorenzens in their heyday there was a different kind of optimism about the field.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
My story was more personal. I was very young, when I published a UFO magazine with a story about the Socorro, NM sighting. Under fair use, I ran a photo of Lonnie Zamora, the eyewitness. Turns out the photo was bought and paid for by the Lorenzens, and thus they asked me to pay them $100 for use. I cited fair use, of course, and she finally stopped playing these childish games.

Years later, I met that crusty — well — at a UFO convention in Fort Smith, AR. I remember going with Curt Sutherly, a UFO investigator who has appeared on The Paracast a few times. Well, I ran into Corel, who decided to remind me of this silly episode over a decade earlier. Still stuck in her craw.

In any case, APRO built a huge collection of UFO data. What's left is stored in a bunch of file cabinets in the Phoenix area, but the present caretakers, for reasons best known to themselves, won't open it up to the UFO field, or even to individual investigators, despite some promises to that effect. Chris has followed this sad situation, and we've mentioned it on the show a time or two.
 

BoyintheMachine

Paranormal Maven
My story was more personal. I was very young, when I published a UFO magazine with a story about the Socorro, NM sighting. Under fair use, I ran a photo of Lonnie Zamora, the eyewitness. Turns out the photo was bought and paid for by the Lorenzens, and thus they asked me to pay them $100 for use. I cited fair use, of course, and she finally stopped playing these childish games.

Years later, I met that crusty — well — at a UFO convention in Fort Smith, AR. I remember going with Curt Sutherly, a UFO investigator who has appeared on The Paracast a few times. Well, I ran into Corel, who decided to remind me of this silly episode over a decade earlier. Still stuck in her craw.

In any case, APRO built a huge collection of UFO data. What's left is stored in a bunch of file cabinets in the Phoenix area, but the present caretakers, for reasons best known to themselves, won't open it up to the UFO field, or even to individual investigators, despite some promises to that effect. Chris has followed this sad situation, and we've mentioned it on the show a time or two.

Yes, you have mentioned it a few times now. I think it's time you and Chris play cat burglar, mission impossible style.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
What is it that makes a ufologist "important" ? Fame? Scientific credentials? Their body of work? The fact that they've had a UFO experience? And important to whom? Other ufologists? The field of ufology in general? The aliens? The skeptics? How many might have voted for Richard Hall? or Donald Keyhoe? or Edward Ruppelt? Almost every ufologist of any real noteworthiness has read The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects. Ruppelt wrote just one book and died fairly young, but half the people on the list were introduced to ufology through his work, not to mention that he was the one who created the word UFO in the first place. Without Ruppelt there wouldn't even be such a thing as "ufology". Friedman is often called "The Godfather of Ufology", but he came well after J. Allen Hynek and it was Ruppelt who hired Hynek! I'm not trying to marginalize all the other names on the list, but IMO the importance of Ruppelt in ufology history is often understated.
 
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nameless

Paranormal Adept
What is it that makes a ufologist "important" ? Fame? Scientific credentials? Their body of work?
I'd say a doctorate helps. like any doctorate, animal husbandry, dentistry, Portuguese something that gives you an air of importance. A rank helps too, petty officer,colonel major, vice admiral, feldwebel wachtmeister etc...
 

nameless

Paranormal Adept
Hey Gene! I hope you know my credentials are 95.5% real;

img_1393-jpg.3724
 

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