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The Future of Ufology

A few days ago, I wrote a Top 10-themed post at my World of Whatever blog on what I personally see as some of the biggest faults of Ufology. It was a post with which many agreed, others found amusing, and some hated (the latter, probably, because they recognized dubious character traits and flaws that were too close to home, and, as a result, got all moody and defensive. Whatever.). But, regardless of what people thought of the article, it prompted one emailer to ask me: “What do you think of the future for Ufology?” Well, that’s a very good question. Here’s my thoughts…

First and foremost, I don’t fear, worry or care about Ufology not existing in – let’s say, hypothetically – 100 years from now. Or even 200 years. In some format, I think that as a movement, it will still exist. I guess my biggest concern is that nothing will have changed by then, aside from the field having become even more dinosaur-like and stuck in its ways than it is today, still filled with influential souls who loudly demand we adhere to the Extra-Terrestrial Hypothesis and nothing else, still droning on about Roswell, still obsessed with what might be going on at Area 51, still debating on what Kenneth Arnold saw, and still pondering on what really happened at Rendlesham.

Ufology’s biggest problem also happens to be what made the Ramones the greatest band that ever existed: never-changing. For the latter, it worked perfectly. If, like me, you liked the mop-topped, super-fast punks in the beginning, then you still like them when they disbanded in 1996. Throughout their career, they looked the same, sounded the same, and were the same. For them, it worked very well. For Ufology, not so well. Not at all.

The reality is that 65 years after our Holy Lord and Master (Sir Kenneth of Arnoldshire) saw whatever it was that he saw on that fateful June 24, 1947 day, Ufology has been static and unchanging. It has endorsed and firmly embraced the ETH not as the belief-system which it actually is, but as a likely fact. And Ufology insists on doing so in stubborn, mule-like fashion. In that sense, Ufology has become a religion. And organized religion is all about upholding unproved old belief-systems and presenting them as hard fact, despite deep, ongoing changes in society, trends and culture. Just like Ufology.

If Ufology is to play a meaningful role in the future, then it needs to focus far less on personal beliefs and wanting UFOs to be extraterrestrial, and far more on admitting that the ETH is just one theory of many – and, while not discarding the ETH, at least moving onwards, upwards and outwards. Can you imagine if the major UFO conference of the year in the United States had a group of speakers where the presentations were on alien-abductions and DMT; the Aleister Crowley-Lam controversy; Ufological synchronicities; and the UFO-occult connection? And Roswell, Area 51, and Flying Triangles weren’t even in sight at all?

Well, imagine is just about all you’ll be able to do, as it ain’t gonna happen anytime soon!

While such matters do, of course, occasionally get mentioned on the UFO-themed lecture circuit today, the fact is that mainstream Ufology (and specifically mainstream ufological organizations, where more time is spent on deciding what utterly ridiculous title everyone will have than on doing investigations) will largely not touch such matters, or even consider them ripe for debate at their conferences. Why? Simple: they want everything to be as it was in the “Good Old Days” of the past. Well, tough: the past is gone, and no-one has succeeded in proving the ETH. So, give the highly alternative theories – and theorists – a chance for a change.

“Nooooo!” cries the old brigade. For them, that won’t work at all, because they don’t want to see the ETH-themed domain that has been so carefully nurtured for decades infected and infiltrated by matters ignorantly perceived as being of a “Hocus Pocus” nature. What they do want is crashed UFOs; aliens taking soil samples; landing traces; abductions undertaken to steal our DNA, etc, etc, blah, blah. Or, as it is scientifically and technically called: Outdated Old School Shit. They don’t want talk of altered states; mind-expanding and entity-invoking drugs; conjured-up beings from other realms; or rites, rituals and manifested Tulpas.

What this stubborn attitude demonstrates is: (A) a fear of change; (B) a fear of having been on the wrong track for decades; and (C) a fear of the unknown. Yes: mainstream, old-time Ufology lives in fear. It should be living in a state of strength. And it should be a strength born of a willingness to address everything, not just the stuff that some conference organizer thinks will attract the biggest audience. But Ufology commits the biggest crime of all: being weak and unsure in the face of new concepts and making like an ostrich when it encounters sand. Actually, I’m wrong. Ufology commits an even bigger crime as it coasts aimlessly along like an empty ship on the ocean waves: it avoids the alternative theories knowingly and fully aware of the long-term, and potentially disastrous, consequences that a one-sided, biased approach may very well provoke for the field.

If Ufology is to move ahead,  find answers, and actually have some meaningful future, it needs to totally do away with belief systems and recognize that every belief is just a theory, an hypothesis, an idea. And that’s all. Ufologists need to embrace alternative ideas and paradigms, since many suggest far easier, and more successful, ways of understanding the various phenomena that comprise the UFO enigma than endlessly studying radar-blips, gun-camera footage, FOIA documentation, and blurry photos.

Should Ufology fail to seize the growing challenge it already faces, then will it die or fade away? Nope, it will still be here and here, popping up now and again. Not unlike a nasty, itchy rash picked up in the “private room” at the local strip-joint on a Friday night that never quite goes away. Probably even 100 or 200 years from now. But, it will be a Ufological Tyrannosaurus Rex: its sell-by date long gone, clinging on to an era also long gone, and perceived by the public of that era as we, today, perceive those nutcases who hold on to centuries-old beliefs that if you sail far enough you’ll fall off the edge of the planet. Or, the deluded souls who think the women on those terrible “Reality TV” shows that sit around arguing over lunch are really arguing.

Ufology can have a future. It can even have a great future. But, to achieve that, it needs change, progression and radical thinking. It needs to expand its collective mind. It needs to be revamped. Other than collecting reports in massive amounts, nothing tangible and provable (in terms of nailing – to the wall – the true nature of the phenomenon) has been achieved. Nothing! Bulging filing cabinets, and endless data-saturated thumb-drives, do not mean we have proved our case. It means we simply have lots of reports and nothing else. We need proof and undeniable evidence, not more reports. Ufology – as it has existed for decades – has consistently failed to provide that proof as a result of largely only following in the wake of the ETH and nothing else. Yes: UFOLOGY HAS FAILED.

There is still time for Ufology to break out of its total failure to have ever achieved anything solid, however. It does not have to become an even bigger, stagnant caricature of itself than it is already. And it can approach the subject in a new, fresh fashion that will ensure it a vital, healthy, long and vibrant life in the future, instead of what it is today. And what might that be today? I’ll tell you: A steady, mind-numbing 55 MPH drive on a never-ending highway where each and every exit-road is marked: “The ETH And Nothing Else: This Way. Forever.”

I really do hope I’m wrong, but I have a horrible suspicion that one hundred years from now, the big topic at the annual, and equally big, UFO conference will be: Roswell: Why Mogul Isn’t The Answer, followed by: Area 51: Latest Revelations of Crashed Saucers. And if that is the case, Ufology is screwed. Officially.

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  • Nova

    I completely agree with most of what’s been said here. However, has anyone ever postulated the idea that these craft, aliens, what have you, use what we call the occult or magic as either; part of their biological process, or even an integral part of their technology?

    I find it fascinating that so many Men in Black encounters are linked to phenomena like altered states, the smell of brimstone, and, as you put it before, most of the time only taking place from the perspective of one individual.

    But, I don’t know about completely forgetting about things like Rosewell, or any of the other cases, never really a good idea to forget our history. But, perhaps we can look at those cases from new angles?

  • Nick Redfern

    Nova: Yeah, there’s a LOT of occult links to Ufology. Such as Aleister Crowley’s Lam (surely a proto-Gray!), Contactee George Hunt Williamson claimed to have contacted aliens via ouija-boards, lots of MIB stuff, Jack Parsons’ interest in UFOs and opening portals via rituals, many things like the above. No, we should never forget Roswell ot our history, but I think debating it further unless something really new or radical comes along to add to it, there’s not much more to say. Or that can be said right now. I dont mind at all if the case remains high profile if new info keeps surfacing. But, to read a new article saying it was Mogul or wasnt Mogul etc doesnt get us any further, and can’t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=850000281 Mike Clelland

    About your essay. A few points.

    1 – You wrote:

    “…abductions undertaken to steal our DNA, etc, etc, blah, blah. Or, as it is scientifically and technically called: Outdated Old School Shit.”

    The problem is – pretty much EVERY woman I talk with who claims the abduction experience tells of weird pregnancy stuff. I’ve heard some profoundly WEIRD stuff related to pregnancies.

    One UFO abductee tells of driving his wife to the hospital while she was in labor in the back seat, and AN OWL FLIES DIRECTLY INTO HIS WINDSHIELD and dies. I feel this is a relevant clue to the meta-phenomena.

    Words like DNA, Quantum, parallel universe (etc) all get bandied about, but I honestly don’t understand what they TRULY might mean.

    2 – You wrote:
    “Can you imagine if the major UFO conference of the year in the United States had a group of speakers where the presentations were on … Ufological synchronicities.”
    This is the one presentation I could do on a podium at a UFO conference. I feel confident I could stand in front of an audience and keep them fascinated for 2 hours on THIS subject.

    Peace,Mike C!

  • Jeff Davis

    Nick,
    You have such the defense mechanism going. I LOVE it! Your
    passion is sheer emotionally infused logic. This is to state that the
    right and left hemispheres of your brain are operating wide open/full
    throttle with a blessed tilt to the right. That’s what you have put
    forth here. What you have outlined is what I can only refer to as the
    present status of Ufology’s predominant orientation. Ufology is
    presently unbalanced in the sense that it doesn’t just tip one way or
    another, but rather resides in all it’s stagnate glory dead center left.
    You’re frustrated because you, like so many of us, are forced to listen
    to your Ufological stereo as it irritatingly balances itself on it’s
    singular left channel leg. Don’t get me wrong however, the notions of
    logic and rationale are utmost critical ingredients within the upper
    most echelon of thought process. It’s just that when the left brain
    rules the roost, we see any and all intellectual considerations rooted
    firmly in the past via an overt, slow motion, linear process,
    progressing at what can only be accurately summed as a truly retarded
    rate/pace. However there is clearly hope for this one armed paper hanger
    of progress. That hope rests firmly on the shoulders of our ever
    expanding body of human awareness known as consciousness research. So
    far what Ufology has given us is an extremely limited big picture
    composed of even more so limited words due to a lopsided emphatically
    finite exponential examination of the infinite. In short it’s a direct
    contradiction and can’t be done. It is my opinion that through serious
    consciousness research it will be revealed that we ourselves are a
    remote temporal physical connection that is in part contributing
    integrally to a much larger or expanded existence as a whole. It is my
    sincerest hope that a working understanding of this larger non temporal
    portion of ourselves, reached via the only avenue of research I can
    imagine attaining such a goal, will in fact facilitate an understanding
    of all things Fortean. Excelsior Nick.

  • Tyler Kokjohn

    Mr. Redfern –

    Provided people keep plunking down cash for the same tired content, the Ufological T. rex contingent can continue feeding. How long can this last?

    Dinosaurs reigned supreme for a long time, but their demise was swift. What happened? The environment changed.

    If the old brigade fears anything, they should be utterly terrified by you and a small cadre of creative individuals who are pushing boundaries, pointing out shortcomings and asking some tough questions. It will be you guys who will synthesize the something new that will change the entire atmosphere. And, at long last, when the new synthesis emerges the Dinosaurs will discover something, too. All the oxygen has been sucked out of their air.
    Scientifically, Ufology is moribund. I look forward to the future that you and few others will create.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Frank-Stalter/1230067514 Frank Stalter

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
    To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” -Buckminster Fuller

  • Red Dragon

    Where do human beings come from if not from extraterrestrials or inter-dimensional beings? Before trying to debunk the fact that there is life on other planets we should ask the fundamental questions of our origins. And no, we didn’t evolve from cells or fish or apes, and there is no “God” sitting in the clouds.

  • xicota

    Nick—Thanks for the thought-provoking article. I agree that researchers–particularly the “Old Guard”—should move on and move ahead. There will always be those new to the subject who might want history on such as K. Arnold, Roswell, Aztec, and so on, but this is all ready available, and as you say, nothing has changed in the way of new information. It is rather like an aging performer who goes on tour, singing the same old songs wherever he has a gig, not only because he hasn’t produced any new music, but unfortunately the old tunes are what his audience expects to hear.

  • Richard Dolan

    Nick. Really great piece, and I applaud what you are trying to do. I do feel personally that the ETH is still quite relevant. But of course, I consider it a hypothesis, certainly not a religion. For what it’s worth, my own thoughts have been moving in a direction very similar to yours. For this reason, I just finished a draft of a book entitled “UFOs for the 21st Century Mind.” Like you, I feel that the field is in need of fresh formulations, and definitely needs something better than MUFON as it’s most prominent organization. The occult connections to ufology, the symbology, the “strange” connections are things that I too have been noticing. The longer one studies this, the more challenging it becomes. I believe that ufology will indeed go through major intellectual change. But I also think an appreciation of the technological aspects, the documentation, and yes to follow up on Mike Clelland, the abductions — all of this remains very important. Sometime the things that are most obvious become overlooked because they become too familiar. I think that would be a mistake. But yes, we need to move forward with a fresh approach.

  • Underseer

    I agree with some of what you say Nick, it baffles me why there’s this simplistic ‘either-or’ approach to these phenomena. Why assume it can only be alien visitors and not fortean/paranormal, or vice versa? Why can’t it be both – an alien visitation in one instance, and in others, paranormal?

    In a universe of unimaginable size, complexity and age, which may even be embedded in a multiverse, and with our limited understanding of even conventional aspects of physical reality, it’s a failure of imagination to assume it’s just the *one* thing.

    As to the ufology ‘movement’ and its validity or longevity going forward – we must go where the evidence takes us, without trying to shoehorn it into what we want it to be, whether our pet theory is ‘fortean’ or ‘nut-and-bolts’. There’s no room for blindly-held pet theories, or indeed, human-centric vanity.

    That said though, there’s a problem: “We need proof and undeniable evidence, not more reports”

    That presupposes, possibly falsely, that whatever/whomever is behind the phenomena will even *allow* you to acquire it. To some extent, the search for hard evidence (as in: a piece of a UFO or an ET, since photos seem not to be considered such) of ‘nut-and-bolts’ UFOs seems pointless to me.

    Take Roswell as a demonstration of why this logic may be flawed. It seems most likely that the technology required to cross interstellar distances is far, far in advance of our own.

    We’re being asked to believe that a race of advanced beings would leave their tech in our hands so we could reverse engineer it and be a threat to them.

    Why wouldn’t they take it back, by force if necessary, and redact the memories of ALL witnesses?

    It’s absurd an idea that our – to them, primitive – weapons, nuclear and otherwise, would be beyond their means to disable, so they’d be unable to reclaim lost tech and colleagues.

    That’s why I’m very sceptical of Roswell.

    And why hard evidence as defined above may be impossible to get.

    The universe is about 14 billion years old – so some races may be literally billions of years old and near-godlike in mind and technology. I suspect they’d know us infinitely better than we know ourselves. If they wished to come amongst us incognito, I think they’d take human form and you would *never* be able to tell them apart from us. You could be buddies with one, without ever knowing!

    So it seems, to me at least, that if we’re seeing the phenomena,
    it’s because they want us to. Why? Who knows – the motives may be many, and some may
    not even make sense to us at this point in our evolution.

    As to non-ETH options, the problem I see with exploring that is that the possibilities are so vast that where do you start? How do you choose amongst the potential blind alleys for your working hypothesis?

    ‘Alternative’ theories I’ve heard include tulpas and the collective unconscious, ley lines generating hallucinations through EM fields, humans from the distant future masquerading as ET to minimize impact on the timeline, airborne biological entities (Trevor Constable et al)… the list is near endless, some with (currently) zero evidence to back them.

    I’m not saying that this is an invalid approach, since in the absence of evidence we must be agnostic in judgement – real science is agnostic. But I think that it’s the reason why ufologists shy away from non-ETH: it’s a dauntingly vast number of strange possibilities, in a field that already has little to no credibility with mainstream science.

    In science, one must form a hypothesis, test it against reality, note and codify the results, and provide the means or recipe for repeatability in peer review with colleagues.

    So how to get ‘hard’ evidence of phenomena which may have non-physical catalysts? What if the phenomena’s catalytic conditions are so rare and specific as to be near non-repeatable? If consciousness – ours or something beyond our understanding – acts as catalyst for the phenomena, then the phenomena will be as varied and capricious as the mind/s generating it.

    And it seems almost a contradiction in terms – hard physical evidence of the non-physical?

  • Basil

    Good comment. It is going to be extremely difficult to find evidence for anything other than nuts and bolts ETs. Any hypothesis must be proven via scientific method for it to be accepted by the mainstream and just think of the costs involved! I would expect research costs to increase exponentially the further along the meta-physical scale you travel from solid matter. Cost-benefit drives most of our decisions, hence I’m not suprised that there is a leaning towards solid, biological ETs as humanity can relate more easiliy to this concept.

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    >”Not unlike a nasty, itchy rash picked up in the “private room” at the
    local strip-joint on a Friday night that never quite goes away.”

    I hope you’re addressing this oh so lovely metaphor from a strictly figured sense, amigo :P

    Nevertheless, shouldn’t we entertain the possibility, as illogical as it may seem, that UFOlogy was meant to always be an underground and belittled movement from the get go? That it was designed and shaped by outside forces to always be rejected by the status quo, while quietly appealing to the great silent majority who firmly believe in the existence of UFOs, according to all the latest polls?

    I think paradigm shifts are never gradual. They are more like light switches. You apply a little pressure, and nothing happens. But if the pressure is maintained then BUM! suddenly the switch is flipped and the light is turned on.

  • hidflect

    The aliens left in 1998. That’s why Ufology has stalled. There’s nothing to study.

  • ChrisH

    On the question of why ET would leave a crashed saucer in our hands for us to reverse engineer, rather than retrieve it, it may be that the crashed vessel is simply far too advanced for us to reverse engineer. This would be the case if its systems were psionically operated ( if psi exists ), or if the physical principles by which it operates are as opaque to us as those of a modern PC would be to Einstein.

  • possibilianist G-gnome

    Great article and even better comments. I think Ufology has somewhat been pushed/forced into this paradigm that it can’t get out of. Pushed to provide that nuts and bolts evidence.

    It’s only a matter of time before the North American mainstream media and Science Institutions will wake up. That’s when things will really change. Give it another 20, 50 years, not much longer I think and it will no longer be ignored.

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    Maybe they did it as a test.

    Maybe they threw out that piece of fools’ gold to see how people in government would react to it. They could either

    a) Announce it to the world and seek international cooperation to unravel its secrets, while promoting a global paradigm change which, although bumpy, might have brought about a positive outcome and a much needed societal chance; or

    b) React with fear and paranoia; which ultimately might have prompted the establishing of a National Security state seeking to maintain the secret at all costs, concluding in the bleeding out of trillions of tax payers’ money in order to trying to replicate this wonderful piece of technology at a frustrating snail pace –since everything has to be slowed down due to the classification and the need-to-know basis. The end result would be ultimately deleterious and not beneficial at all.

    Among the rajas of India there was an age-old tradition of how to elegantly deal with your enemies without resorting to open rivalry: you would present them with a present of a white elephant. The elephant was both a great honor and a curse, because caring for this delicate beast was prohibitively expensive, yet the enemy could not make the terrible offense of getting rid of the gift.

    If Roswell did happen, and it was a test, then I think it’s fair to say we failed miserably.

    http://2bangkok.com/images/08/white-elephant1.jpg

  • Underseer

    RPJ:

    Truth be told, it’s so long after the events, with so much distortion via the passage of time, that I suspect it’s impossible to say what happened at Roswell.

    I have problems with the ‘vanilla’ crash theory on the grounds of what I said above, but I freely admit it’s a possibility that ETs, engaged in a anthropological experiment, created a ‘fake’ crash to study our response.

    If so, by now the US military knows that it was simply an experiment. which would frighten them even more, since it implies that we are merely subjects of dispassionate study, like lab rats or insects.

    I doubt very much that the ET are hostile, because they’d have no need to play games with us – they could take our world easily. Nor are they guaranteed to be friendly. It seems far more likely that they’re quite simply indifferent to us. We could be, as Carl Sagan speculated, merely one of thousands of emergent species being studied. To them, we’re not that interesting until we get our act together as a species or wipe ourselves out.

    Watching our violence, our greed, our mistreatment of each other and our fellow creatures on earth, they may feel a certain disgust or contempt for us, but that may be tempered with the knowledge that they were likely no better in an equivalent stage of their history.

    But to go back to the original topic Nick raised: ufology as ETH or fortean events, it seems to me there’s another possibility, more science fiction/fantasy than science I admit:

    What if the technology required to move instantaneously across interstellar distances uses some kind of ‘reality-warping’ physics? By that I mean, some physicists believe that there may be a more fundamental level to reality than matter and energy: information.

    What if you could manipulate that information in such a way to ‘instruct’ the space-time continuum “Hey universe, whatcha been smokin’? I’m not in Alpha Centauri, actually I’m here on a little mudball the locals called Earth”. The Universe reacts by instantaneously ‘relocating’ you there, having been ‘fooled’ into thinking you were there all along. (Bear with me, it gets weirder still ;) )

    But what if there’s after-effects to this tech, ‘ripples’ in reality, sparking and triggering fortean events that many seem to report after UFO encounters. The local ‘information space’ around the UFO’s original point of entry would be screwed up for a while, with all kinds of ‘glitches in the matrix’ long after the ETs’ departure until business as usual gradually reasserts itself.

    Yup, sounds damn far fetched, even crackpot-theory-ish even to me, but it would unify both the fortean and the ETH ideas.

    But it would need to be testable for it to have any value other than wild speculation. The article the MU guys did about Rupert Sheldrake, in which he asserts he found evidence that the speed of light ‘varies’ over time gave me an idea:

    By measuring universal constants, such as light speed, in the region where a UFO encounter has been reported, preferably immediately thereafter, if inexplicable variations in the constants such as light speed were to be found, that would be pretty strong proof that something very odd indeed had happened there.

    With the right equipment I don’t think it’s that hard to set up the tests. And it could lend the fortean hypothesis some empirical weight.

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    Underseer,

    I strongly recommend you check out Mike Clelland’s Hidden Experience blog.

    No, Mike doesn’t claim to have the secrets of the Universe. What’s so compelling about his story –or should I say, his journey– is that he’s so disarmingly honest about his own uncertainties.

    Anyway, Mike is in contact with a woman who uses the pen-name Lucretia Heart. a long-life experiencer. In one of her stories, she related how the Nordics she’s in contact with –and yes, I know all she relates is nothing but anecdotal evidence, but it’s pretty cool nonetheless– have the courtesy of ‘landing’ their ships a safe distance from her home, because they know if they land much closer, her surrounding environment would be plagued with poltergeist activity afterwards –the Grays are not so courteous it seems.

    Who knows, right? And yet, what if…

    The first time I saw David Lynch’s version of Dune, I just loved it. Later I read the novels, and learned he changed the purpose of the spice melange and its use for space travel. In the novels the spice was used by the Guild navigators in order to have precognition of the dangers during their voyage. And yet I found Lynch’s interpretation far more elegant and interesting: using the melange to fold the time/space continuum itself.

    Maybe you’re absolutely right. Maybe their science and their technology follow principles much closer to magic and shamanism than our ‘steam-punk’ attempts.

    Saludos,

    RPJ

  • Underseer

    RPJ, thanks, I’ll check Clelland’s blog out.

    I’m sure you’re familiar with Arthur C. Clarke’s phrase about sufficiently advanced tech being indistinguishable from magic.

    Heck, bring a person from as recently as Victorian times to the present day and even they would find some of our technology astonishing. (Although mini-skirts and bikinis would probably be the first thing a Victorian chap would notice – best inventions of the 20th century!)

    Imagine what we’d make of tech thousands (or millions? or even billions?) of years ahead of us.

    Perhaps far enough into our future, technology will become spiritual and spirituality will be technological? As with the transhumanist Guild you mention in Dune? Perhaps that’s why we have such trouble comprehending the UFO phenomenon?

    Another freaky possibility was raised by a pioneer of robotics, Hans Moravec, (in his book ‘Robot’): that hyper-intelligent AI, created by other races, has encoded itself into the space-time continuum itself, and has rewoven (or is right now re-weaving) physical space into a kind of interactive cyberspace. (Dan Simmons dealt with something similar in his Hyperion novels).

    The fabric of reality itself is their computational surface in this idea. Occasionally our consciousness acts as a ‘virus in the matrix’ causing the glitches we know as the paranormal.

    Quantum uncertainty, wherein something becomes ‘fixed’ or ‘real’ when ‘observed’ (called wave function collapse), would then be explained. As in a computer game where a technique called ‘level of detail’ is used, it’s required to save computation: objects only in the gamer’s field of view are loaded into memory, not the entire universe of the game, which would melt your CPU.

    Only what you see is you need, buddy, not a bit more… ’til you look behind you at the – what?! – sasquatch? – chupacabra? – Mitt Romney? (OK sorry for the last one)

    Damn buggy universal operating system! You’re worse than Microsoft, hyper-AI! We’re your damn unpaid beta testers! ;)

    A physicist (sorry his name escapes me), has actually proposed that quantum uncertainty itself indicates we’re already in a cyberspace, a simulation run on a universal computer that does not have infinite cpu capacity. Kind of a technological solipsism.

    But as mentioned above, speculation is fun but I’d love to see somebody check the universal constants in an area where a UFO or fortean event has just taken place. It’s the only way I can think of to scientifically test it – it’d really rock the conventional science world if even minor deviations were detected.

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    >”Perhaps far enough into our future, technology will become spiritual and
    spirituality will be technological? As with the transhumanist Guild you
    mention in Dune? Perhaps that’s why we have such trouble comprehending
    the UFO phenomenon?”

    There’s this great case mentioned in one of J.J. Benítez’s books. A British engineer living in South Africa gives a ride in his car to a couple of strange men —one of them injured— to a remote field. He observes a landed saucer and they invite him in. They give him a brief tour of the interior, and after giving a stark description of their propulsion system —the usual: electro-magnetic antigravity— he asks: “so where do you keep the computers?” assuming with his technical mindset that navigating through space would require you to rely on computational charts, to calculate your position and destination.

    — “No computers” is all he gets as a reply, and when he insists his guide just shook his head in amusement.

    The moment I read that case the 1st thing I thought were “OMG: Mentats!;)

  • Chris

    Maybe the question, if UFO’s exists or not is already unimportant but answered .. Why? – Well, did you ever heard about the story and scientific work of Havard professor John E. Mack? Sometimes I wonder why his work is not referred to more often ..
    “I
    would never say, yes, there are aliens taking people. [But] I would
    say there is a compelling powerful phenomenon here that I can’t account
    for in any other way, that’s mysterious. Yet I can’t know what it is
    but it seems to me that it invites a deeper, further inquiry. (… ) I
    have come to realise this abduction phenomenon forces us, if we permit
    ourselves to take it seriously, to re-examine our perception of human
    identity – to look at who we are from a cosmic perspective”
    Professor John E. Mack,
    (* 4. Oktober 1929 in New York City; † 27. September 2004 in London, England)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Edward_Mack
    http://johnemackinstitute.org/
    By Angela Hind, Pier productions, BBC News, June 8, 2005: http://experiencers.com/2005/06/alien-thinking/

    The Importance of the Alien Abduction Phenomenon
    http://augustxavier.hubpages.com/hub/The-Importance-of-the-Alien-Abduction-Phenomenon

    What do you think?

  • Ross

    Nick has little new to say here; all of this is essentially a rehash of what John Keel and Jacques Vallee said decades ago. Hell, Meade Layne wrote about UFOs from an occult, metaphysical perspective even before Kenneth Arnold’s famous 1947 sighting. So why present the occult perspective as if it’s something new? Really, ideas shouldn’t be judged purely on the basis of whether they are “old” or “new” (relative terms, anyway); the fact that times have changed doesn’t necessarily mean that an old idea is invalidated or that a new idea necessarily has more merit. Objectivity should trump traditionalism AND fashion. All ideas should be given a hearing, but all ideas are not of equal worth. (By the way, nothing I have written should be construed as meaning that I reject the occult perspective on UFOs; on the contrary, I am quite fascinated fascinated by it, and I think it is worth exploring. But it isn’t new.)