Alien abduction, human-ET hybrids, hypnotic regression, repressed memories, medical quackery and conspiracy theories are currently a part of the UFO landscape. All pseudoscience. All dragging down the credibility of the subject.
Thanks to Jack Brewer of The UFO Trail for providing me with notice of an excellent two-part piece he wrote on the current state of UFO research, its leaders, its critics and what happens now. If you are at all interested in UFOlogy or how a field of study evolves due to personalities and agendas, have a look.
In the posts entitled “MUFON, Science and Deception“, we get a glimpse inside the UFO community.
The Mutual UFO Network recently announced its latest change in executive directors. David “The Captain” MacDonald is vacating the position to be filled August 1 by Jan Harzan, a longtime member of the MUFON board of directors. Offered is a two-part post exploring recent MUFON history and circumstances, including comments provided by scientists, UFO investigators and MUFON members, both past and present.
of the post continues the review of MUFON activities, including considerations of those who support hypnosis as a memory retrieval tool, extraordinary and unsupported claims put forth by members of the org, and comments from scientists Frank Purcell and Tyler Kokjohn.
MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network, consists of branches across the U.S. who train researchers to investigate UFO sightings. They promote a scientific method. But do they actually do that? Brewer argues no, they do not, and characterizes it as “sham inquiry.” (I can tell he reads my stuff
Interested to hear how the latest MUFON conference was received? Apparently not too well.
MacDonald and his organization arguably took sham inquiry to new ufology lows when the 2013 MUFON Symposium and its theme, “Science, UFOs and the Search for ET,” included a number of speakers that could be reasonably described as scientific embarrassments. Dumbfounding to even remotely discerning members of the UFO community, Harzan told the Las Vegas Sun
just before the conference that science and ufology are “one in the same.”
Oh, I doubt that very much.
The UFO Trail piece highlights some critics and rising voices in the community, some of whom wish to elevate the investigations and methods out of the realm of pseudoscience. People like Dr. Tyler Kokjohn, Robert Sheaffer (both commenters on this blog) and Antonio Paris, who runs the API Aerial Phenomenon Investigation Group which has quite a different focus than MUFON.
I’m eager to talk about this subject of pseudoscience in UFOlogy, the internal shift that was allowed to occur, and the projected future by those who take the questions seriously. This may be a new dawn for UFOlogy as the old guard dies away and the new, more centered serious thinkers take over. One can hope.
Is UFOlogy dead? We would have suspected it might be just a while ago but it looks to be undergoing a transformation once again.