Are we looking at “The End of UFOs”? Was there ever any legitimacy to their study to begin with, and furthermore, why does it seem I have proclaimed myself the one to bring down the UFO phenomenon?
Well, everyone else seems to be saying the study of UFOs is “ending”… figured I might as well just follow suit.
All kidding aside, many really are saying the study of UFOs is in its final death throes; though thinking back, UFO research has very nearly died dozens of times since the late 1940s (with one of the most notable “deaths” coinciding with the release of the findings of Edward Condon’s University of Colorado UFO Project in 1968). Somehow, the damned saucer-spotters keep dragging themselves off their funeral pyres before getting burned too badly, annoyingly resurrecting themselves time and time again, and reinventing “ufology” in keeping with whatever new cultural memes best fit alongside it (whether it be contactess and space brothers, alien abductions, time travelers from the future, alien artificial intelligence, or whatever else it hadn’t been on the minds of the previous generation of researchers).
Personally, I think the claim that we’ve reached “the end of UFOs” should be taken about as seriously as the image of me (above) coming forth like some sci-fi assassin from tomorrow, darting like a death-dealer and manifesting ominously to place the final proverbial death-nail in what many have called the pseudoscience of “ufology”.
Yes, I do advocate that we should allow science to reign supreme from this point forward. And in fairness, to assert that UFO studies constitute pseudoscience is, in many cases, more than justifiable. However, I don’t think it’s a fair statement in every case.
There are, in fact, many serious researchers who are very concerned about the state of unexplained aerial phenomena research, and whether science, at this point, can even be applied to the serious study of this subject. I addressed this myself recently in my piece, The End of Ufology: Why Serious Research Goes Underground, which was partially in response to an article featured in New York Magazine by Mark Jacobsen in relation to his perception of “failures” he observed at the recent Pennsylvania MUFON Symposium. (I should note that a similar article also appeared at The Guardian recently, which alleged that UFO studies may have more to do with government projects dealing in psy-ops and misdirection of gullible UFO researchers than any kind of actual aerial technologies.)
On this week’s episode of The Paracast with hosts Gene Steinberg and Christopher O’Brien, I joined the fellows to discuss this, and had a very good time analyzing modern UFO studies, with my usual open-minded skepticism applied to the subject. Below is a link to the page where you can download the podcast:
In addition to being an enjoyable time, I want to also state for the record that this is one of the few programs, in my view, that regularly tackles this subject in the way it needs to be discussed. I endorse Gene and Chris’s show wholeheartedly, as they always strive to be fair, but to ask difficult questions of their guests, and to seek to understand the nature of researching UFOs, rather than just present “another show on the subject” that asks the same questions of authors that are stated on the sample question sheets their publishers send out.
In the past, due to the nature of their approach, there have been guests (and big “celebrity” names in the field of Ufology) who have hung up on these guys because they became too frustrated with the honesty the hosts present, or even felt “cornered” by them… and this is one more reason I respect them. They aren’t playing softball; they are seeking to present what I feel is some of the most intelligent commentary on this subject that appears anywhere on the web.
I hope you’ll give this a listen, and hear what Gene and Chris, along with guest co-host Goggs MacKay, chose to discuss with me… and what my general ideas are about “The End of Ufology.” Is there really nothing more to see here, or will science lead us in a new direction with UFO studies in the coming years?