Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Washington Post reacts to UFO "believers"

The Washington Post published an article not on the UFO phenomenon titled The fear that drives our alien belief (by Caitlin Dewey), but instead on the deluded people who believe in something so obviously silly. Well, that's my interpretation of her article. I am posting this because it comes on the heels of such an even-keeled article about John Mack (linked below), here's a quote:
Vanity Fair this month published a lengthy profile of Harvard psychiatrist John Edward Mack—a man who believed, implausibly, in alien abduction.
Then the author goes on to pose a question, and then answers it in a way that shows that she hadn't done any meaningful research:
What is it about UFOs that drive so many people to believe they exist despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary?
The idea that there is any evidence to the contrary, let alone overwhelming evidence to the contrary, is a an assumption. Even a cursory glance at the literature reveals a superabundance of reports.

Anyway, this stuff really bothers me.
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Addendum:
Here's a fitting follow-up.

Noam Chomsky once spoke about a New York Times reporter (I'm paraphrasing), the reporter had stated: "Nobody tells me what to write." And Chomsky pointed out: "That's true, but you don't get to be a reporter at the New York Times unless you've proven yourself to be thoroughly obedient to the system."

I am reminded of the submissive dog that is so desperate to please it's master that it rolls onto it's back and pees all over itself.

Read the Washington Post article side-by-side with this post from Christopher Knowles on the Secret Sun.

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20 comments:

Mike Clelland! said...

a quote from David Chace on this article:

"What is it about UFOs that drive so many people to believe they exist despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary?"

The idea that there is any evidence to the contrary, let alone overwhelming evidence to the contrary, is a misconception, regardless of how many reasons people can make up for believing that there is something wrong with the idea of alien visitations.

"Such visitations contradict virtually all of the basic laws of physics, chemistry and biology on which modern science depends."

The idea that alien visitation contradicts known laws of nature is baseless. It springs from a lack of imagination as to the ways in which beings with superior technology might apply our known laws of nature, as well as a failure to consider the likelihood that such beings would have superior knowledge regarding the laws of nature, as well as superior technology.

Perhaps the belief in alien visitations stems from the fact that credible witnesses keep reporting encounters with aliens, and with vehicles of alien origin, rather than from some existential fear of the "meaningless vastness of the universe."

Christopher Loring Knowles said...

This is exactly what I am talking about in my new essay. There are so many delusional people in the UFO field who think they can somehow make peace with the mainstream media, that somehow if they present enough evidence the media will see the light. They should know that the only people who get anywhere with alternative viewpoints are people who openly wage war on the media. That the public now holds the mainstream media to a slightly lower esteem than circus clowns and child molesters, though I realize that is a bit redundant. Bassett should have held a separate hearing kicking the the media's pointy heads in and holding particularly loathesome hacks up to ridicule and scorn. Stop trying to compromise with these idiots and set about putting them all out of business.

muzuzuzus said...

that journalist Caitlin whatsherface is most likely on a big fat salary. Yet a TEN year old who knows how to gain good information from the Internet would most likely be *vastly* more knowledgeable than her regarding the subject of UFOs.
Would she be shamed by this revelation? No, she would just flash that silly mask I see staring out at me from her Google images.

Annalie Cummings a/k/a Artemesia said...

I think most of us 'get it' that these so-called 'reporters' are saying things to keep a job and themselves fed, while pushing someone else's views and agendas. But the real question is, do these people beleive what they are writing THEMSELVES or at what point to they write the same drivel so often they then begin to beleive it.

The degree of cognitive dissonance in this culture and the near-total lack of mainstream intelligence and honest inquiry is astounding.

Thanks for calling out the douchebags of thought Mike, you were kinder than I would ever be to them. ;)

Mr.Owl said...

Well, I for one am thankful for this article. After wondering for years, I can stop and finally conclude that this must be the answer: I am schizophrenic.

Seriously though, guys, have a look at the comments section of this article. It will restore some of your faith in the mindset of the general populace. Peace.

Red Pill Junkie said...

Holy Jebus, what a crappy article!

And what interesting use of loaded words. 'Roswell truthers' she wrote. That must be the 1st time I've ever come up with it.

So either we UFO buffs are seeking refuge in our 'silly beliefs' because we can't endure the terror born out of a meaningless Universe, or the Wash Post seeks refuge in ignorant bloggers like her, because the media can't endure the terror born out of a phenomenon that defies so blatantly our meaningless notions of authority.

Quite a natural reaction, I daresay.

Trish said...

That article is like so many that have appeared over the years. We're all fruitcakes, the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming...yada yada.

happytobe said...

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance--that principle is contempt prior to investigation".

~ Herbert Spencer

purrlgurrl said...

UFOs exist. Absolutely.

However, there is not one shred of untainted, objectively verifiable evidence that they are craft piloted by extraterrestrials.

I am a UFO witness, yet nothing about my experience leads directly to the conclusion that what I saw was an alien spacecraft. To make that intellectual leap would either require more evidence than I have or a break with reality.

This is where Ufology and anomalists jump the shark. They continually make claims about the phenomena without any objective, hard evidence (more than just hearsay) to back up these claims (e.g., Stephen Greer and his "humanoid"). Then they whine about the mainstream not taking them seriously and rant about "skeptoids", who seem to be everybody who doesn't unquestioningly believe all their unsubstantiated claims.

You want the mainstream to takes UFOs seriously? Stop behaving like brainwashed cult members most of the time.

Christopher Loring Knowles said...

Remember that annoying teacher's pet who everyone hated in school because she was such a suckup? She's the mainstream media. Remember that weird guy who used to eat his boogers in class and tried to impress girls (but actually creeped them all out) with corny magic tricks and then would snitch on people who he would eavesdrop on in the bathroom while he was masturbating? He is now the skeptic movement. Remember that guy who said he was your friend but was really a two-faced backstabber? He writes for the Pelicanist and Fortean Times. Everything you needed to know about life you learned in high school.

muzuzuzus said...

In other words puurigirl what? You want an ET to sit on your lap? What is it you want, I am curious. I mean, in that Greer film what IS that thing....? Any ideas? Is that solid? What about witnesses to Roswell? Is that 'hearsay'?
Lieutenant Walter Haut has made a death bed confession which was only allowed to be known about aftetr his death that he witnessed a crashed ET craft and its occupants, 'ET's. You are saying this is hear say? Why would he say it? Any ideas?

Mr.Owl said...

I'm sorry but I've got to chime in here again. In my well over thirty years of experiencing phenomena, one that lurks on the periphery of our reality, I have come to a conclusion: It doesn't make any sense.

I say this not because I've given up trying to make sense of something that always keeps you guessing. I say this because really, truly, that seems to be the only 'true' thing about the 'experience' with what can only be termed others, not E.T's. Other than us and what we perceive as reality; we have to stay open.

For you see, to true believers and skeptics alike, there always has to be an answer, there has to be TRUTH. Maybe there isn't any. Maybe we should just stop trying to make sense of something that it isn't supposed to and refuses to. How much are we missing out on by trying so hard to put everything into a box and not just allowing ourselves absorb different realities and possibilities?

Squabbling aside, stop beating a dead horse. It's not helping anybody make 'sense', it leaves us senseless.

Red Pill Junkie said...

...Or maybe we should ALL learn to embrace non-sense.

No wait, I'm not making a joke here.

Please listen to this interview with Dr. Raymond Moody on the Skeptiko podcast. The father of Near-Death Experience can be heard saying how the quest for life after death is not a scientific pursuit --but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be studied!

http://www.skeptiko.com/raymond-moody-understanding-near-death-experiences-as-nonsense/

Basically, what Moody proposes is a whole new system of Logic, because clearly our materialistic fetish with empirical Reason doesn't seem to cut it anymore.

Mr.Owl said...

Exactly. Since trying to interpret things from my viewpoint and from within the collective paradigm was no longer working, I had conclude that the whole thing was non-sensical. And to embrace it and move forward from there. Once I accepted the senselessness, I was free, in more ways than one, to move forward and to expect the very illogical and unexpected. Then it could all be embraced in all of its very disturbing and wondrous mystery. Thanks RPJ!

happytobe said...

Thanks RPJ. Having read Dr. Moody's "Life after Life", it was a treat to hear his voice.

A few thoughts:

A lot of things are logical but wrong.... "sunrise" for example.

Paradox is a form of "non-sense" that can convey truth... "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." from A TALE OF TWO CITIES by Charles Dickens.

When someone speaks, we listen to the logic of their words, but also to whether or not the words "ring true".

An RPJ quote from 20 June 2008:

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

http://www.dailygrail.com/news/messengers-of-deception

muzuzuzus said...

Thise are great insights and inspire some reflections. After the First World War which was the most horrendous and massive example of absolute blood and gits wrenching nonsensem artists tried to inspire exactly what you are talking about. Art movements like DADA and Surrealism attempted to induse the sense of the irrational, because they saw that WWI was coming from a very VERY sick for of ultra rationality that was itself utterly irrational but *unconscious* of it---if that makes any sense. Now when I have read UFO/'ET' reports of High Strangeness, they are reminiscent of that spirit the DADAists and Surrealists were doing----They DEFY very humorously the 'hard facts facts facts rational' stance which is imposed on us since we are young by this utterly irrational and brutal culture. A culture that wages a 'war on drugs' which is causing destruction of whole communities and countries, whilst pushing THEIR drugs onto younger and younger children! Waging a 'war on terror' when they are terrorists themselves. So as you can see this is insanity. I can see it and I very bet 'aliens' can see it, and this manifests as a healing phenomena for the matrix that is our world. I am not blaming ALL humans either, but a very sick and evil cabal who are in control of and seeking to destroy planet Earth because of their insanity.

Lucretia Heart said...

Thanks for mentioning this article as yet another example of bad reporting, licking the butts of the smug mainstream. (Which isn't really that "normal" since MOST people believe its entirely possible that aliens are visiting the earth in UFOs, as poll after poll has shown for the last 20+ years!)

I read it when it came out and rolled my eyes at yet another self-assured article that disrespects people and their experiences just because they aren't obviously enough and don't have "official approval." There is tons of evidence all over the place for this phenomenon-- but people who CAN'T believe it WON'T regardless of evidence. Even if a UFO landed on the White House lawn, they'd be sneering until someone above them told them it was okay not to. Pathetic.

Silent Hill said...

Caitlin dewey's article was horrific.

Silent Hill said...

These 'journalists' need to be shown up for such poor unresearched articles. Aka Caitlin Dewey of the washington post. Someone should ask her to review the comments under her article.

Anonymous said...

I'm for embracing the non-sensical as well. After three horrendous months of illness, I had what I thought to be a desire-to-heal dream because mechanical arms held me wrapped in a tarp and I began to glow with what appeared electrical discharge so fierce I could no longer see my shrouded body. I even felt better during the event than I'd ever felt in my life, so much so that I awoke startled and felt I'd ended the dream too soon. I've called it my sizzle dream since it occurred.

I have three recent CT scans showing four diverticuliti prior to the dream, but a colonoscopy this month shows I now have only one. I can now sleep without taking thyroid medication, though I plan to have a blood test to see if I continue to need the med. I can drink and eat acidic foods which felt like poison just months ago. I'm hoping the dream took care of any disastrous effects of having been exposed to so much radiation.

The only thing that sticks out in my mind as different at the time just before the dream was my getting mad and believing I'd done nothing to deserve being so ill. But I had embraced my nonsensical experiences for years and accepted, while occasionally forming and subsequently tossing theories aside, that we are powerful creatures capable of handling and even growing from the nonsensical.

That's my latest theory, our attitudes for embracing, even the most disturbing events, make the difference in the quality of character, and in turn, the quality of our existence.

Carol