I don't make many threads on ATS anymore, nor post much here anymore...I'm sure the explanation will come up in this post. I'm not entirely sure
where this topic fits honestly, whether it be in General Chit Chat, Members or Rant. So I just went with the safe in-between.
I first found ATS in 1999. Long before it had a message board, X-Files (the original series) was still on the air and the History Channel still had
shows about history on it. I had a love-hate relationship with the Sci-Fi (SyFy sounds dumb) channel and shows like Stargate SG-1 and the various
paranormal files. I mean come on, I was 9. I had already polished through an encyclopedia on aircraft from around the world - there surely had to be
more. It was to a point where I started my own "spotting team" where a bunch of friends and I would go out late at night on the weekends into the
field behind our houses and try to look for some unknown aircraft or even UFO's. We didn't really know what we were looking for. Again, we were 9
(through 14)...we were still in that time where our imaginations were good.
I remember all of the names and numbers still pretty well. We talked about things like the TR-3A and B (Black Manta), the CL-500 (Blackburn), the
Aurora, Morpheus, The Switchblade. Yeah, I remember them all. I remember being especially fascinated by the Aurora - probably because I thought the
Aurora in Ace Combat 3 was "so fricken cool."
I even headed a research project on ATS about it after I swore I saw one. I joined initially in January of 2004, but got bored of the username...so I
chose another one in March after talking to some of the "then staff." (Kano, if you're still poking around ever - I still have K9 Kano, he turned
12 this year!) What can I say, I believed a lot of conspiracies when they had to do with some things, bought into the hype, didn't mind
association...it was kind of like I knew that the world was scary and questioned it with great scrutiny. Ages 14 to 18 I spent a good deal of time on
ATS (or battling it in some cases - though SO was very patient and very kind with me through those times).
Then I got a job. It was time to put money in my pocket to live. I was 18, I needed to get on. My time on ATS ceased as I tried to actually build
an identity for myself, as those years I spent on ATS I was also grappling with some rough personal identity issues. You can probably even detect the
immaturity in my posts and threads from about 2004 to 2008, I'm sure ATS chatters could speak up for that too.
I started school in 2012. How quaint.
2012...the year the world was supposed to end. I was attending my first year of school with my then-fiance. I spent a great deal of time discovering
that I had what it took to make it in the academic world, and was doing my best to strip my mind of the idea that I'm an expert in ANYTHING. I can
be a student, I can be a mentor or a teacher, but to be an expert would be to claim that I knew everything about something - and that was a status I
was not prepared to accept. It is also a status I would never desire to accept or would accept. In March of 2012 I did momentarily jump back on ATS,
but only to poke around to see if the 2012 hype had gotten swept away - boy was that an interesting read through.
Here I found myself assaulted with threads talking about a rogue planet, an asteroid, a random planetary alignment, an alignment with a black hole, a
new-found level of consciousness, a collective singularity, a massive volcano, a huge earthquake and God is coming back to take us all away in the
middle of it. Well! That's quite a mouthful. December 21, 2012 came and went without any disasters other than my ex freaking out over whether or
not I'd make it to her house on Christmas Eve or Day. But perhaps it did trigger a revelation in me that totally shifted my mind from the ideology I
had once about the world. That mystic veil that allowed me to entertain the fly-off-the-handle conspiracy theories was no longer there. I had
totally lost any kind of scope that things like that, which were without proof could possibly stand.
It is worth nothing that I had read some gut-wrenching stories leading up to 2012 which I'd rather not go into. However, it was confirmed when I
started my Mesoamerican Art class later that academic year. I did my semester long research project on the 2012-theorists legendary Dresden Codex. I
made a point to highlight pages 24 and 71 of the codex and went on to elaborate their more probable depiction. Page 71 was supposedly the page that
Dr. Coe had initially described as possibly being a depiction of the end of the world until it was better understood what the codex was.
I was told several stories about people, including children that had killed themselves ahead of 2012, including some in the region of places like
Teotihuacan and Palanque. Some of these stories came from first witness accounts, others from archaeologists who were working in the area. That
sickened me. These were human beings taking their lives for a superstition, an unfounded one at that. One that was being sensationalized by the
media and Hollywood, politicians and fear mongers.
That's about the end of the stories I can tell you in relation to my personal or academic life...
However, from that point my thoughts on conspiracy theories have shifted from a mindset of accepting anything on the faith of a word (unless it just
didn't fit in my mind), to one where I accept what has fact association, consider that which has coincidence, and reject that which has nothing to
offer. I don't see Elvis in my refrigerator, there is bacon and eggs. I don't see a life message in my alphabet soup, just letters and broth -
though the letters may happen to make up a word.
I do understand there are things we don't know, and that we can't explain. I don't question that. But I think that which is supernatural is
something that requires a lot of research and a lot of investigation before it can be classified as such. The Dyatlov Pass thread is a good
representation of this. I do also understand there are things out there that are hid from people, but I don't automatically assume ill intent by
these things. I chuckle at the hypocrisy of some people on ATS who speak of "love and peace" and "expect the good in people", yet they will sit
there are criticize a secret being held by the men holding the strings to the curtain.
I do have an automatic reaction to reject a theory which does not have evidence to support it when the claim is contradictory to common knowledge and
mechanics. Why? Because I am an academic, I am someone who works in a profession. The world we know today was not created by someone making claims
without evidence to support those claims. The people who did put the foundations in the ground to support their theory and prove it. There was
explanation using real world causes and effects, or real world accountability of historical facts. It wasn't a short handed message on a discussion
board referencing an obscure blurry or low-cost YouTube video. It wasn't to a website that a 14 year old drew up. It was work. Hard work. Work
that person did on their own.
I'm 25 now. I've moved on from the dark world of conspiracies. I live outside of the distortion of prediction, and I work with the people of
reason. Conformist or shill...this world is brighter than that which I used to live.