- How Do We Qualify Ufology Information?
"How do we qualify Ufology information?"
How do we 'vet' the information and people providing it so that the quality is there; so that sense is made common?
What kind of tell-tale signs does 'truth' have in this environment?Here's some considerations from the works of Brent Cunningham... 1. Internal Coherence — This is a test for rational consistency. This asks if a belief makes sense? We need to determine whether beliefs are rationally consistent within themselves and in relation to others beliefs of one’s larger worldview. Some beliefs are known to be self-referentially inconsistent, or self-defeating. An example might be the belief that all “knowledge” is scientific knowledge. This is obviously self-defeating because the belief itself is not a scientific statement. Therefore, the belief dies by its own standard for knowledge. Another way a belief can fail this test is when two beliefs are in contradiction with each other, meaning that at least one of the beliefs must be false. So, we must ask if the beliefs hold together? For example, if a person is a Naturalist (believing that human life is accidental, random, and without ultimate purpose), he cannot then introduce the belief that we have an objective moral obligation to treat another person justly or with kindness. 2. External Correspondence — This test asks if a belief fits the facts of reality. Does it correspond to the real world? Proposed truth-claims must have explanatory power, or the ability to give account for our experience of the world (whether it be history, science, psychology, human nature, etc.). For instance, a worldview can be tested by its ability to explain cosmological questions like the origin of the universe; anthropological questions like the existence of minds and free will; moral questions like the existence of evil and our experience with guilt. Further, the explanatory power of truth-claims should (a) be comprehensive in scope—able to explain more or better than alternative theories; (b) have predictive power—suggesting new evidence and problems; (c) have precision—accounting for more details; (d) be illuminating—integrating otherwise unrelated data; (e) avoid ad hoc hypotheses—functioning only to explain away counter-evidence; (f) be simple—not needlessly multiplying the basic concepts, assumptions, and principles of an explanation. 3. Functional Adequacy — This tests the livability of a truth-claim as a belief. Is it a viable belief “on the street”? Does it work in real life? Some views sound good on paper, but are proven false in the laboratory of life. Consider an eastern guru who asserts that the physical world is an illusion, yet he still looks both ways before crossing the street. A person cannot live out such an illusory belief of the world for very long (or he’ll be hit by a bus before long!). Even more than that, a belief system must integrate one’s life. It must incorporate and meet the deepest human needs. SUMMARY In evaluating the truth or falsity of propositions/truth-claims/beliefs, we must be sure to always look for three things: internal coherence (the logical), external correspondence (the factual), and functional adequacy (the livable). For a belief to be true it must be meaningful, it must line up with the real world, and it must not only help us survive in daily life, but allow us to flourish. Consequently, these are also the three areas in which our thinking can and does go wrong: logic, facts, and values.
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- The Role of a Power Structure Analysis in Ufology
The civilian UFO community, often known as “ufology,” exists as a multitude of individuals and groups with a common interest in unidentified flying objects. Since 1991 I have shared this passion with other so called “ufologists.”
For several years, I was closely associated with Dr. Steven Greer’s Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence. In the course of my activities with that group, I had a few limited interactive encounters with what appeared to be Extraterrestrial spacecraft.
For a number of reasons, personal as well as professional, I have curtailed many of my UFO oriented activities. At this point I would like to offer my observations concerning what I perceive is the fundamental problem in this field.
It is my assessment that ufology has failed to recognize the importance of how the Extraterrestrial presence profoundly threatens all terrestrial elites. This includes the international corporate, military, political and religious leaders of our planet. Without recognizing and thoroughly analyzing this challenge to terrestrial power, those interested in understanding the phenomenon of Extraterrestrial spacecraft visiting our planet, will be hopelessly confused. More importantly, UFO activists may have unrealistic expectations and maybe wasting important energy in projects that can not bear fruit given the depths of the power structure’s opposition to acknowledging the ET presence.
Currently, a number of prominent UFO groups are advocating that Congress hold open hearings on the issue of government secrecy concerning Extraterrestrial spacecraft visiting our planet. Retired military and intelligence officers who have had direct personal experiences with Extraterrestrial intelligence during their official work have been identified. There is now an opportunity to inform the public, if these official witnesses are induced to testify.
As might be expected, the push for public hearings on the topic of the ET presence has encountered resistance. It has been the not too secret hope of many UFO activists that some kind of official disclosure might be underfoot. It is my assessment, however, that no disclosure will take place without tremendous pressure on the terrestrial power structure; more pressure than can be applied to Congress at the current time.
Frustrated by years of official denial, how can UFO enthusiasts work to remedy this predicament? A broad based coalition, employing coordinated political action will be an essential part of the disclosure process. This will probably require dozens of organizations and thousands of activists. Such a campaign will likely take the form of the grassroots movements for social change. Models of such efforts include the union organizing drives of the 1930s and the peace and the civil rights movements of the 1960s. To develop such a coalition of individuals and groups, an analysis of the ET challenge to all terrestrial power is required.
Our planet’s population is divided into more than 100 nation states. National political leaders are able to exercise their power on the basis of nationalism. As the prominent ufologist Stanton Friedman has said, “Nationalism is the name of the game.” Once the people of the planet are permitted to acknowledge the ET presence, the masses will tend to see themselves as “terrestrial” or simply “human.” Faced with what will likely be an incredible diversity of ET cultures, people on our planet may start to identify with the Earth as a whole rather than with their particular nation state. Thus, the power of national politicians would be threatened by the admission that some UFOs represent Extraterrestrial spacecraft built by non-humans from the stars.
From the point of view of ordinary citizens, an end to nationalism and the realization of the slogan “One planet, one people,” might not be tragic at all. Given the sad record of this century, with over 100 million killed in wars resulting from national rivalry, it might make good sense to place nationalism in the dustbin of history. Of course, national political leaders who derive their power from “the people”, i.e., their nation’s people, would understandably be threatened by an outside presence that undermines their ideological power bases.
The Extraterrestrial presence challenges military leaders of every nation. Advanced civilizations visiting our planet appear to be quite capable of producing craft that can fly circles around the military’s high performance jets. Military leaders are thus unable to secure our planet’s airspace from ET intrusion. This provides one rationale for the military-intelligence community’s role in maintaining the secrecy about UFOs.
The Extraterrestrials appear to have access to incredibly powerful energy systems to propel their spacecraft. Speculation within ufology has suggested that their craft use non-polluting “free energy systems.” If the authorities acknowledged the ET presence and over a period of time our culture was allowed to download such efficient energy technologies, many of our economic as well as environmental problems might be solved. From the point of view of the multinational oil corporations, this would not be a favorable development. The downloading of ET energy systems would likely threaten the worldwide monopoly that has been the source of much wealth and influence for important sectors of the corporate elite. Considering that the Gulf War and other military actions in the Middle East are driven by a hunger for cheap oil, we see the strategic importance of what has been called the “empire of oil.” Thus the ET presence threatens important sectors of the economic elite of our planet.
An important pillar of our planet’s belief systems is organized religion. The true history of our planet may reveal that the flying saucer phenomenon is really an ancient process rather than a modern one. A Renaissance religious painting depicting a flying saucer certainly suggests this possibility. The myths of ancient civilizations declaring that their knowledge and technology were obtained from “star people”, provides additional support for ancient astronaut theories.
What if the holy men and prophets of biblical times were in reality contactees? Their religious experiences may have reflected encounters with non-human intelligence, some of which might have been Extraterrestrial in nature. If this theory proves true or even possible, acknowledging the ET presence would threaten all organized religion. Thus, the spiritual elite of our planet is threatened by the ET presence.
If this analysis accurately reflects the perceived self-interest of our planet’s elites, then the Extraterrestrials visiting our planet must threaten all terrestrial power. The worldwide secrecy campaign concerning UFOs can now be seen as the logical consequence of ruling classes that understandably take action in self-defense. This need not be seen as a conspiracy. Efforts to deny the ET presence, to resist public disclosure of their visitations are the natural response of any social system attempting to preserve the status quo.
In the course of human development, both evolutionary and revolutionary historical trends can be seen. The creation of Christianity out of Judaism can be viewed as the creation of a revolutionary force that spread monotheism across the planet. The Roman Empire, cognizant of the challenge, violently suppressed the new religion that placed an almighty God over the emperor.
The acceptance of an all powerful and ethical God by this planet’s peoples has done much to promote the welfare of the Earth’s population. Concepts, such as the rule of law and social justice, as well as the ending of human sacrifice and slavery, all have their roots in the wave of revolutionary monotheism which swept our planet during the first millennium of the common era.
Similarly the rule of both kings and political despots have been replaced by the democratic revolutions of the 17th through 20th centuries. The old regime never gives up without a fight. Indeed the struggle for democracy continues to this day.
It is only natural that the Earth’s ruling elites will combat what some might perceive as the ultimate threat. As long as the Extraterrestrial visitors spare us undeniable displays of their physical presence, indirect means can be employed to maintain the status quo. This includes the ridicule of witnesses and the suppression of credible reports of encounters. If Colonel Philip Corso, author of “The Day After Roswell”, is to be believed, covert military actions against ET craft are taking place as well.
Corporate control of the mass media has been used to relegate reports of UFOs to tabloid formats that trivialize them. Security oaths, under national security regulations, are employed to silence credible military witnesses of UFO encounters. Ufology is, itself, a likely target for disinformation spread by sections of the intelligence services authorized to deal with the UFO subculture. Terrestrial power can be expected to defend itself. These efforts will surely continue in the future.
The creation of a citizen network to challenge the existing regimen of secrecy and denial, will by necessity be a difficult and prolonged struggle. There will be the need for accelerating the educational process to alert the public of the reality of extraterrestrial spacecraft visiting our planet.
One of most important factors in this equation is the actions of the extraterrestrials themselves. For reasons that are only known to them, they have chosen not to impose on our culture irrefutable displays of their physical presence. Although the tempo of sightings and other types of human-ET interactions appears to be accelerating, it seems likely that the proverbial “landing on the White house lawn” will not occur any time soon. It may never take place.
Rather than passively waiting for the power structure to acknowledge the reality of ET spacecraft visiting our planet, those who feel passionately about this issue should be prepared to take action. Non-governmental organizations have a long tradition of finding innovative solutions to important problems. As a former peace activist from the 1960s through the 1980s, I recall the slogan, “When the people lead, the leaders will follow.”
If a broad based people’s movement is to be created there will be the need for much organizing. A special role for building unity also exists because ufology is rife with sectarianism. The UFO community has in many ways been isolated from the mainstream culture. Breaking free from this isolation will require a balanced program of public education.
I would like to encourage ufology to consider this analysis. It is my sincere hope that by understanding the power relationships that are at work here we can do much to change the current situation. I invite comments on the points raised here and look forward to a productive dialogue.
Joseph Burkes, MD
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- UFOs and the Rabble
One constantly reads (or hears) that UFO conjecture, or hypotheses, need “peer review,” a phrase taken from academia or science but never accepted as a practice by UFO mavens or researchers.
After all, who in “ufology” is qualified to pass judgment on the poncifs of their fellow ultrafidians? [Explanation: who in the UFO world is qualified to determine if ufological nonsense has validity or not?]
Take the re-constituted Roswell Dream Team for instance. Does the one lone objective partner – Chris Rutkowski – have enough clout – mental and otherwise – to thwart the faith-obsessed mind-sets of his team colleagues; that is, can Mr. Rutkowski stem the belief fervor of Dream Team members when their faith in the ET hypothesis takes hold based upon very circumscribed evidence?
And then we have the UFO skeptics, who bring to the UFO table all kinds of ruminations that have the gloss of serious scrutiny but, when examined carefully, only has the patina of objectivity and academic acumen.
(The evidence for cavalier skepticism is made manifest by the lack of academic or scientific credentials by those claiming to be skeptics: they are self-anointed.)
But the essential problem is not the Dream Team or skeptical cliques. It’s the sycophancy of the rabble. That UFO throng weighs in with predilections based upon facile psychological or sociological elements that border upon insanities of various kinds.
Take a look at the comments that abound at various UFO venues: UFO UpDates, Rense, Above Top Secret, and even here, among many others. The ruminations are patently aberrant.
This has been the case with UFOs since 1947, when the phenomenon reared its head and became a fringe fascination for people themselves on the fringe (of society) or mental competency.
UFOs should have been studied, as Jacques Vallee suggested and tepidly acted upon with his “Invisible College” idea, taken from the Rosicrucians or Robert Boyle’s Royal Society of London clique.
A small, qualified group of credentialed persons, from various academic disciplines should have banded together to study UFOs from the outset.
This didn’t happen at the overt level, and that explains the ongoing belief that MJ-12 may have legitimately existed or still exists: MJ-12 fits with the sensible idea of an Invisible College.
But any idea of a qualified band of UFO devotees getting together now is muffled by the onslaught of the rabble and the rabble’s use of the internet to intercede with ignorance in the matter of the phenomenon.
The vociferous clamor of the UFO underbelly drowns out or dissipates rational discourse.
We even experience that here, although we strive mightily to curb the waywardness of illogical and utter banality of thought that comes our way as comments on our topics.
UFOs, as a phenomenon, has been lost by the gargantuan storm of idiocies that have inundated the subject and continue apace now that the internet has opened the door to every asinine quidnunc who thinks what they have to offer is gold of the gods.
Can we, and a few other UFO bailiwicks, continue to ruminate within this maelstrom or cacophony of nonsense? Should we?
Paul Kimball and other sensate individuals have chosen not to. We like their withdrawal from the blatant UFO scene. And see it as a way out of the madhouse
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- How Do We Qualify Ufology Information?