The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Reasoned [UFO] Debate

In the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Volume 5, Number 1 1991, UFO ET proponent Robert M. Wood presented his argument for extraterrestrial UFO visitations.

Jacques Vallee countered.

Here is Mr. Wood's conclusion from the paper:

"Whether any hypothesis is emotionally exciting or dull should not be a basis for selecting the least unlikely hypothesis. The selection or rejection of the ETH is no exception. This author concluded long ago, along with Stan Friedman and James McDonald, that the ETH was the least unlikely hypothesis.

McDonald (1968) in his testimony to Congress stated, "I now regard Hypothesis 7 ("extraterrestrial devices of some surveillance nature") as the one most likely to prove correct" (p. 36). Twenty-two more years of evidence would seem to merely strengthen this conclusion.

The major assumptions, to be consistent with the ETH, are (1) it is very simple to travel at many times the speed of light, resulting in very short trip times compared to species lifetime; (2) most travelers have knowledge of the locations of other civilizations; (3) "they" have a common policy of noninterference except for a few mavericks; and (4) previous genetic interactions with homo sapiens during our known history may be responsible for similar biology in some extraterrestrials.

As mind-boggling as it may seem, the extraterrestrial hypothesis is not that bad."

Here is Jacques Vallee's counter argument:

"The original article that triggered this discussion was not meant to eliminate the ETH from the list of explanations for UFOs. Indeed, it observed that "until the nature and origin of UFO phenomena can be firmly established it will naturally be possible to hypothesize that extraterrestrial factors, including
undiscovered forms of consciousness, are playing a role in its manifestations."

But, it sought to clarify the difficulties with such a theory and to advance other, equally attractive hypotheses. It also urged that the idea of extraterrestrial intervention be "updated to include current theoretical speculation about other models of the physical universe."

In his well-articulated response Dr. Wood has proposed just such an update, in terms that are both scientifically sound and intellectually appealing. In the process of saving it, however, he has been forced to stretch the "first level ETH" to such an extent that it may no longer be recognizable by most ufologists. While it would be a pleasure, indeed, to welcome him into the ranks of the heretics, I doubt that such a distortion was part of Wood's plans when he wrote his rebuttal. But, what are we to make of a model involving 14,000 different civilizations, all of them humanoid in shape, which travel throughout the universe in ships that can pass through solid objects, yet feel it necessary to stop in the remote countryside to terrify human victims, performing crude operations upon their bodies?

While this revised ETH model does account for some of the observed facts which the first-level ETH
had overlooked, it does not really overcome the five arguments that contradict the extraterrestrial theory.

It is my hope that the debate we have initiated here will continue, and that other scientists will join us with their own contributions. In the process of exploring these issues we may well shed new light on critical factors of the phenomenon that have not been previously recognized."

This is how debates or colloquies should take place; civilized and moderate.

RR

26 Comments:

  • Rich
    The SSE is the last bastion of reasoned thought on the subject.What is interesting to me are the parallels that have developed in other areas of science that also directly pertain to the UFO question. On one hand , you have the focus on consciousness by way of biocentrism in terms of it’s origins being left out of the largely materially based theories regarding the origins of the physical side of the universe. In the same manner you have Vallee who subsequently went further into consciousness and information theory regarding the UFO while the theories of more physicality have been consigned to largely Roswell debates. You get the sense that both are correct and both are wrong by one side excluding the other by the very fact there are no conceptual models that include the obvious, which in the universe, so to speak, it is both consciousness and physicality are joined at the hip. I just wrote a piece based on a article in Nature that related that simulations have given weight that we exist in a holographic universe and that instead of three dimensions, there are at least ten..of course this relates to space time and consciousness as well as physicality in all things. What is required should seem to reflect this basic relationship. But then again, its all a conspiracy, right?

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, December 14, 2013  

  • Bruce:

    The holographic Universe is really getting traction among physicists, along with The Matrix scenario.

    I can see "ufology" starting to use those hypotheses to explain UFO events or sightings.

    And, as Bob Wood said about the ET angle, that may not be a bad thing.

    (We've touched on the hologram and Matrix ideas early on at this blog and at the RRRGroup blog.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, December 14, 2013  

  • Vallee...oh no...he is a motherfucking Asshole!

    He negated the Disclosure Evidence, he does not work open-ended, he wants that ufos are manifestation of a God-Like Being...like in the movies 2001 and 2010 from Arthur C. Clarke.

    But the evidence suggests that ufos are flying maschines with a crew in it!

    By Blogger Michael Loengard, at Saturday, December 14, 2013  

  • A bit harsh (and vulgar) Michael.

    I allowed your comment to make my point about how UFO debate and comments have devolved even further than those in the early years.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, December 14, 2013  

  • This is tangential only in the sense that Bob Ryan is mentioned, but it may prove interesting to those who have followed his MJ-12 research.

    Thomas Cantwheel is an anagram of Loathes Watchmen. This anagram seems intentional given that there has never been a SSN given to anyone by the name "Cantwheel"; the name was a construction for the purposes of the world play.

    By Blogger Hierophant, at Saturday, December 14, 2013  

  • H:

    You wrote " the name was a construction for the purposes of the world play."

    You meant "word play." right?

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, December 14, 2013  

  • RRR,


    Yes, that should read 'word play'.

    By Blogger Hierophant, at Saturday, December 14, 2013  

  • RR 'You meant "word play." right?'

    H 'Yes, that should read 'word play'.'

    Eek!

    Hierophant!

    There you were bein' a true hierophant...

    ...the World Herself was speakin' through you...

    ...an' you...an' you...uuuhhh!!!

    By Blogger alanborky, at Saturday, December 14, 2013  

  • 'The major assumptions, to be consistent with the ETH, are...travel at many times the speed of light result[s] in very short trip times...most travelers have knowledge of...other civilizations...have a common policy of noninterference'.

    Rich surely a better model than this's what's taken place on Earth itself.

    Some civilizations like Ancient China tend t'keep t'themselves.

    Some civilizations like Ancient Rome like t'expand out as far as their political influence'n'supply lines'll allow creatin' monitorin' stations like say Chester an' Manchester in Britain or drawin' lines in the heather like Hadrian's Wall on the border o' Scotland when potential 'client' states look too unruly to appreciate such civilizational gifts as soap'n'water or taxes.

    In other words it mightn't be so much a policy o' non interferin' as an awareness the humanoids this far out from the galactic centre're too prone t'wars based on emotional outbursts too fond o' mutual cannibalism too illogic'ly savage t'risk open sustained contact.

    "This is how debates or colloquies should take place; civilized and moderate."

    Agreed.

    By Blogger alanborky, at Saturday, December 14, 2013  

  • Some history on Vallee -

    Vallee owes ALL of his "ufology" notoriety and success to the simple fact that in the 1960s Poher convinced Hynek to obtain a graduate position for Vallee at Northwestern University (landing eventually in their computer science department).

    Despite Vallee's position due to the typical Chicago 'Clout', in tis one case I am in total agreement with his stance.....

    By Blogger Kurt Peters, at Sunday, December 15, 2013  

  • Back to the subject at hand being civility..I was having coffee this morning and in the back of my mind this post reflected a Sufi work on chivalry ( one was the last time anyone heard that word, especially these days?.) Not having anything better to do ,I found a condensed version and it seemed also to coincide with the onset of the holiday season.
    "[It] means opposing and arguing little, being fair; preventing errors in oneself and not criticizing the errors of others; trying to correct one's faults; accepting accusations; enduring troubles caused by others; lowering one's ego; being pleasant to both the old and the young, doing good deeds, giving good advice, and accepting advice; loving one's friends; and bearing peacefully with one's enemies."

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Sunday, December 15, 2013  

  • Did Jesus cop this from the Sufis or did the Sufis borrow it from Jesus?

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, December 15, 2013  

  • I am no expert on Sufism, what I do know is that they were in existence at the time of Jesus and their lineage goes back before written history..or so I have read. Whats interesting about them is the fact, like Jesus, many of them were martyred for proclaiming themselves to be the sons of God. Also they were known for their woolen capes much like JC wore. Also..they consider him and his message to be in alignment with their own although he is known by another name. It gets more complex but that's the gist of it.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Sunday, December 15, 2013  

  • It's an interesting connection.

    Although, for me, Jesus was a schizophrenic -- not keeping him from being God, by the way, but a disturbed person who was homosexual, according to The Secret Gospel of Mark (and Morton Smith).

    The whole religious milieu, up through Mohammed intrigues.

    Then there is Joseph Smith.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, December 15, 2013  

  • Well, this "madness" is one of their subversive teaching techniques for a variety of reasons too involved to get into here as well as "the way of blame" They were known for inserting themselves into a variety of roles or play acting to have influence..I spent around five years comparing their texts against Christian sources and I suspect JC was one of them. They are known to be synthesizers of in the developmental arc of theology much as in the attempted synthesis and insertion of reformation into Judaism by way of again a sort of pattern of upsetting apple carts. According to some sources, his mission as it were was considered a failure and yet a praiseworthy attempt..Of course traditional Christians would take exception to that.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Sunday, December 15, 2013  

  • BtW..I have a box of books from my research no longer needed on this connection..if this twist intrigues you I can send them your way..just send me an e-mail.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Sunday, December 15, 2013  

  • Of course, Bruce, you're familiar with all the works proclaiming Jesus never really did any of the things attributed to him in the Gospels.

    But I've always wondered why, if that were the case, Peter and James allowed themselves to be killed for their belief in Jesus and his works.

    And the there is, for me, The Shroud of Turin, about which I have every book extant.

    It's a fascinating topic, not UFO oriented -- and I would chastise CDA if he brought it up here -- but it's that time of year, so...

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, December 15, 2013  

  • There is a very strong thread of claimed powers in Sufi texts that would today be considered paranormal
    which gets into a unique relationship of permissions and qualifiers. My sense of of the case of Peter and James is that they had enough experiential knowledge of this to become what they taught in regard to being in the service of a mission wherein no price was too high to reform the then current status quo, much in the same manner of intention as their mentor.They were convinced to say the least.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Sunday, December 15, 2013  

  • Yes, the theme of best selling book, "Zealot" by Reza Aslan.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, December 15, 2013  

  • My issue with these sort of books is that they leave out Islamic sources to synthesis a incomplete portrait in particular, these books always confuse the means with the end, but it sounds interesting enough to compare..Ill check it out.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Sunday, December 15, 2013  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Ross, at Sunday, December 15, 2013  

  • Clarify, Ross.

    You're being obscurant/abstruse.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, December 15, 2013  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Ross, at Sunday, December 15, 2013  

  • Ross, you're more obtuse than Duensing....

    But in 2014, I expect an improvement.

    Have a Merry, merry Christmas and jolly New Year.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, December 15, 2013  

  • Lack of sleep has seen me talk of things ahead of time; we'll wait and wait and wait.

    By Blogger Ross, at Sunday, December 15, 2013  

  • Bruce: not trying to be a know it all, but you seem very interested and knowledgeable about Sufism, so I thought you might appreciate the correction that Sufism does not in fact pre-date Christ. The term refers exclusively to the heterogeneous collection of sects and practices that make up the Islamic mystical tradition, the earliest documented expressions of which do not appear until the late 8th-early 9th century B.C.E, and which was reconciled with with mainstream Sunni Islam as a legitimate (halel) means of worship by the scholar al-Ghazali in the 11th century.
    Sorry if that's off topic. Just trying to help.
    Wonderful exchange. I wish there were more people with Vallee's capacity for imaginative yet critical thought working on this topic.

    By Blogger Simeon Roos-Eefsting, at Friday, January 10, 2014  

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